Promoter seeks â‚¬1.5m over ‘exhausted’ star’s no-show
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
By Ann O’Loughlin
Superstar rapper Eminem will have to give evidence explaining the circumstances behind the cancellation of his sell-out gig at Slane in 2005.
A High Court judge in Dublin yesterday issued a request for the rapper to give testimony under oath.
The judge said that Eminem’s evidence was important and “possibly crucial” to a civil action before the High Court, with concert promoter MCD looking for â‚¬1.5m after three insurance companies failed to pay up when the rapper pulled out of his Slane gig.
Now Eminem will have to give evidence to a judge of the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Michigan.
The testimony can then be used in the Irish action and read in to the record of the court.
The 80,000 tickets for the Slane Castle concert were sold out within an hour but, with just weeks to go to the September 17, 2005 gig , Eminem cancelled.
The gig was scheduled as part of Eminem’s ‘Anger Management’ European tour but was cancelled due to what his manager described as the rapper’s ” exhaustion”.
Mr Justice Peter Kelly yesterday issued the letter of request to the US District Court of the Eastern District of Michigan for the examination on oath of the star, whose real name is Marshall Mathers III.
But the judge refused an application to provide a guarantee that the testimony, when it is raised in the High Court here, will be heard in private.
The letter of request will go to the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and from there to the US Secretary of State before being transferred to the US court.
Mr Justice Kelly said it appeared that Eminem was not prepared to come to Ireland and be the subject of examination for the civil action before the High Court.
The judge said he had been asked to give a guarantee that Eminem’s testimony over his state of health would be in private.
The judge said it would be inappropriate and there was also a constitutional mandate that justice be administered in public.
To give such a guarantee would open the door to cases where a witness who found a matter to be personally embarrassing could apply for the public to be excluded from court.
Eminem’s testimony would be read into the record when it was opened in the proceedings, he said. The only guarantee the court could give was that the testimony would remain confidential until put in evidence.
The High Court action has been brought by MCD Productions Ltd against three London-based insurance companies – Liberty Syndicate Management Ltd, trading as Liberty Syndicates LIB44722 at Lloyds, Brit Insurance Ltd and Markel International Ltd.
In its claim before the Commercial Court, MCD says it was involved in the promotion of a concert to be performed by Eminem at Slane.. MCD says the sum of â‚¬1.5m is the maximum amount it can pursue the insurance companies for under the terms of an insurance contract. Alternatively, it is seeking damages for alleged breach of contract.
It says it entered into a contract with the defendant companies under which they agreed to indemnify it up to a stated limit should the gig be necessarily cancelled or relocated.