By Victor Ochieng
Damon Dash hasn’t had it easy lately. Earlier in the week, the entrepreneur lost custody of the two daughters he has with his ex-wife, Rachel Roy. The parents initially had joint custody, but after a grueling court process, the court awarded Roy, a fashion designer and businesswoman, sole custody of the children, 15-year-old Ava and 6-year-old Tallulah. Dash was a no-show at the courthouse, which lead to Roy’s triumph.
The hip-hop mogul and former Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder was also slapped with a three-year restraining order just to ensure that he’s kept away. He will, however, have supervised visitation. This is because Roy alleged that he is an unfit dad.
Dash isn’t going down without a fight, but his strategy isn’t about fighting for the children at this stage. He has filed a lawsuit against Roy, alleging that she mismanaged their Royale Etenia fashion business and Topson Downs of California, another fashion company they founded.
According to the lawsuit, Roy has breached terms of their business operations contract and has unjustifiably stood in the way of his money. Dash is therefore demanding $2.5 million in damages in relation to Royale Etenia and an additional $2.5 million in the Topson Downs suit.
Royale Etenia, however, closed shop back in 2009, but some of Roy’s clothing from her line is still found in shops such as Macy’s, with her brand having been worn by First Lady Michelle Obama, Tyra Banks, and Kim Kardashian.
The two lawsuits are coming about a year after Dash filed another suit against the Jones Apparel Group over an alleged violation of a manufacturing and distribution contract. The lawsuit claimed that Jones secured the deal through false pretense and that the company was attempting to wrench control of Roy’s fashion works. In addition, the lawsuit alleged that Jones was keen on selling Roy’s trademarks and business brands to another company without her approval.
Interestingly, that case was later dismissed with prejudice in July of last year, although the reasons for the dismissal were not revealed to the public. It is, however, believed that the parties came to a settlement.
At this point, it’s difficult to be sure of Dash’s intentions. Could his recent moves be out of bitterness? The question is, after all the time that’s gone by, why is Dash filing the lawsuit now?