NEW YORK (AP) – A Manhattan judge on Monday dismissed counterclaims rapper Jay-Z filed against singer R. Kelly, who had sued for $75 million after claiming the rapper forced him off their national tour.

Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, alleged in court papers that Kelly filed suit “to deflect public and media attention from his upcoming felony trial involving an alleged sexual liaison with a 14-year-old child” and from his other problems.

Accusing Kelly of “damaging misconduct” as his tour co-headliner, Jay-Z alleged two counterclaims: that Kelly defrauded him by promising but failing to put on a good show and that Kelly interfered with his contract with the tour promoter.

Kelly’s lawyer, Peter Parcher, said state Supreme Court Justice Charles Ramos threw out Jay-Z’s first counterclaim on the grounds that failing to fulfill a promise to try to do something is not breach of contract and a breach of contract cannot be turned into a fraud case.

Parcher said the judge dismissed the second counterclaim on the ground that Jay-Z’s papers did not show how Kelly interfered with any contract since the decision for Jay-Z to continue the tour alone was not Kelly’s.

The judge gave Jay-Z’s lawyer, Jonathan Davis, permission to file new counterclaims, which Davis said he intends to do. “The matter is far from over,” he said.

Kelly sued Jay-Z last November. He said one of the rapper’s associates had blasted him with pepper spray as he was going on stage at Madison Square Garden. He was treated at a hospital and released.

A short time later, the tour’s promoter, Atlanta Worldwide Touring, fired Kelly. The singer and Jay-Z were in the middle of a 40-city tour, which had been plagued by canceled shows and reports that the two refused to speak to each other.

Kelly’s lawsuit seeks $15 million in compensatory damages and $60 million in punitive damages.


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