The Estate of Celia Cruz Knight and The Knight Descendants’ Trust has filed a lawsuit in Federal Court of New Jersey against Telemundo Network Group, Telemundo Holdings and Image Entertainment, Inc. for breach of contract and commercial misappropriation, among other claims.
Courthouse News Service got a copy of the complaint. In it, the estate’s attorneys claim that 5 months prior to Celia’s death, Telemundo did a nationally televised tribute concert in her honor, in which she participated in exchange for a donation to her charitable foundation. The agreement also called for Celia to be paid for “any” later productions of the concert.
The complaint states that one year after the concert (6 months after Celia’s death from a brain tumor at 77), Image Entertainment produced a DVD of the concert called “Celia Cruz – Azúcar,” from which it and Telemundo made $1 million in sales, but refused to pay the estate for Celia’s performance.
Pressed for a comment, Telemundo released this statement: “Telemundo has the highest regard for Celia Cruz herself and her legacy and has a long history of working together with her and her representatives. However, we dispute the claims in this particular lawsuit which are completely baseless.”