Prince is facing 'poaching' lawsuit over Judith Hill's debut album


Prince is facing a lawsuit over "poaching" a former contestant on NBC's hit singing show "The Voice."

Jolene Cherry, the owner of the production company behind Judith Hill's debut album "Back In Time," filed a complaint against Prince Friday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

The suit alleges the Minnesota native pursued Hill, despite her exclusive recording contract with Sony via The Cherry Project, and then damaged prospects for the album by releasing it as a free digital download via Live Nation's mailing list, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Cherry claims she rejected Hill's request to record and release an album with Prince because it would violate the recording agreement, but the suit alleges that Hill and Prince, who "boldly and inexplicably ignored these warnings" and the law, proceeded with the album anyway, and then released it as a free download, Courthouse News notes.

The lawsuit says:

"Judith Hill’s first album — 'Back in Time' — is now out, but rather than cheering along with her, the people who paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop her career and album and worked to position Hill for her first release (as well as those who co-wrote many of the songs) are sitting dumb-founded on the sidelines while Prince gives away their investment for free."

Cherry is suing for unspecified compensation and punitive damages from Prince, according to Rolling Stone, for making "it economically unfeasible for [The Cherry Party] to ever release Hill's 'first album' or their recordings of songs ... which Hill had already recorded for The Cherry Party," the complaint says.

Hill is not named as a defendant in Cherry's lawsuit. However, Hill filed a lawsuit against Cherry last week in New York that paints a different picture of what happened, Courthouse News reports. That lawsuit claims after Hill signed the record deal, Sony cut ties with The Cherry Project because Cherry was "incompetent."

The lawsuit also alleges Cherry had planted a story that Hill dedicated a love song to North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Un, the Hollywood Reporter notes.

Hill's lawsuit alleges defamation, fraud and breach of contract, The Wrap says.

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