Pop singer Samantha Jade's friendship with former X Factor judge Guy Sebastian is at the centre of breach of contract claims embroiling entertainment behemoth Sony Music and TV production house Fremantle Media, CBD can reveal.
US record label Camp West Recorders is suing Jade (pictured), Sebastian, Fremantle, Sony and Syco Entertainment, a joint venture between Sony and X Factor creator Simon Cowell, in California's Central District Court.
Camp West had Jade signed to recording and management deals and reckons it spent eight years and $2 million trying to turn her into a star. It's seeking 20 per cent of her earnings, alleging Fremantle, Syco, Sebastian and Sony all knew Jade was still under contract with Camp West when she won X Factor last year and signed a new deal with Sony.
Pointing to a clause in the X Factor rules that prohibits contestants participating if they know the judges, Camp West alleges that Sony, Fremantle and Syco "knew that Jade and Guy Sebastian knew each other and were friends".
"On information and belief, Jade's 'back story', as portrayed on X Factor Australia, was manipulated to garner sympathy and ratings," Camp West alleges.
Camp West claims the portrayal of Jade as someone who had been dropped by her US label was false.
It alleges Jade met Sebastian during a 2005 trip to Sweden "to work with a producer".
During a 2009 Australian trip promoting a single called Secret, Jade is alleged to have "met up with Guy Sebastian over the course of several days". And while she was staying in LA in 2010, Jade "would also meet with Guy Sebastian", Camp West alleges.
On Monday CBD rang Jade, who is fighting the lawsuit, for comment and was promptly handpassed to Sony PR maven Grant Donges. He's yet to call back.
Meanwhile, Fremantle is trying to get out of the case altogether. On Friday it asked the court to dismiss the case against it on the grounds that it has no presence in the US.
From pop to rock, and the dusty plains of Kazakhstan, where West Perth's finest mining explorer, Jupiter Energy, is seeking oil, gas and, as of Monday, cash.
The company plans to add the Kazakh Stock Exchange to its existing tickers on the ASX and London's AIM.
Jupiter told the market(s) it had "fulfilled the relevant conditions" to list on the Kazakh bourse.
And an interesting bourse it is, offering both a range of private stocks and the chance for the former Soviet republic's citizens to participate in "people's IPOs", which appear to involve the partial privatisation of state-owned enterprises. "In order to successfully participate in the Program it is very important to use all means available for the self-study of approaches to investing at the stock market and visiting of various events organised by participants of this program for the broad public," the Kazakh exchange says in a Borat-esque note on its website.
Jupiter chairman and CEO Geoff Gander said the listing "will make the company more accessible to the Kazakh investment community".
The Wild East is no doubt packed with untapped mineral resources but there are just 62 companies on the Kazakh exchange, for a total market cap of $US31.17 billion. The ASX's market cap is about $1.5 trillion.
On the other hand, Jupiter burnt through $6.3 million in cash in the three months to the end of June, leaving less than a quarter's worth of spending - $4.1 million - in the kitty. It would take only a couple of million bucks from the Kazakhs to close the gap.
CBD loves reader feedback, and Bernard Bornstein's response to Monday's item on the jockeying for former Victorian premier Steve Bracks' gig as consul-general in New York is extra special - even if it's not clear what he's on about. "Shafted," he wrote, quoting back CBD's description of Bracks' fate. "Your reference to Steve Bracks is pathetic!"
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