AceShowbiz - Hip-hop superstar Jay-Z has been summoned to a New York federal court to answer questions related to the 2007 sale of his Rocawear clothing brand. The "99 Problems" hitmaker sold the apparel company to bosses at Iconix Brand Group for $200 million over a decade ago, but they reportedly remained in business together on a number of joint projects.
However, the new owners are now under investigation on suspicion of violating federal securities laws in their financial reporting of Rocawear accounts. The case relates to the $169 million write-down of Rocawear in March 2016, and again earlier this year, when Iconix chiefs announced they were taking another $34 million off the market value of the asset.
Authorities at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reportedly issued subpoenas to Jay-Z in November 2017 and again in February, when he hired a new attorney, seeking to speak to the rap mogul over his dealings with Iconix.
He failed to appear in court for "investigative testimony," and now U.S. District Court Judge Paul Gardephe has ordered Beyonce Knowles's husband, real name Shawn Carter, to appear in person for a hearing on May 8.
SEC officials insist the notice "does not reflect a determination" that Jay-Z "has violated provisions of the federal securities laws at issue in the investigation," but he must attend the Manhattan Federal Court hearing to explain why he shouldn't be compelled to sit for testimony, according to the New York Daily News.
A representative for the music icon, who is now based in Los Angeles, has not revealed whether Jay-Z will honor the court summons, but declares, "Mr. Carter had no role in that reporting or Iconix's other actions as a public company. Mr. Carter is a private citizen who should not be involved in this matter."
Meanwhile, he is also facing separate legal action over his purchase of the Tidal streaming platform in 2015. Lawyers at Sweden's Roschier and SEB firms are seeking more than $500,000 in damages amid allegations suggesting they have yet to be paid in full for representing Jay-Z's S. Carter Enterprises in the deal. They are suing for the unresolved balance of their invoice, plus interest and expenses, reports TheBlast.com.