Drake fears any discussion of his net worth could turn jury members against him in an upcoming trial and is pleading for a judge to ban any evidence of his wealth.
Back in 2014, Drake was sued by the estate of jazz musician Jimmy Smith and a music publishing company called Hebrew Hustle. They accused him of using a sample of Smith’s on his track, “Pound Cake/Paris Morton Music 2.”
Drake denied the allegations he ripped off the song and then he counter-sued the company Hebrew Hustle. He accused the company of using his face and name on their website to make it appear he worked with the company and endorsed their work.
The rapper accused the company of damaging his brand by using his face without permission and sued for unspecified damages.
The case has been dragging on for years and the trial is set to begin later this year.
On November 9, Drake filed court docs demanding certain evidence and testimony not be presented to the jury during the trial.
The rapper is asking the judge to prohibit any talk about how rich he is and does not want any evidence of his “financial condition or comparative wealth” to be mentioned in court. He says if this information were presented, it would unfairly prejudice the jury.
Drake fears Hebrew Hustle will try to turn the jury against him by questioning him about his wealth on the stand. Drake claims any talk about how rich he is compared to that of Hebrew Hustle would have nothing to do with the issues at hand.
He says the only purpose of talking about it would be to bias the jury against him and to create unjustified sympathy for them.
Hebrew Hustle filed court docs seeking to ban expert testimony Drake planned on presenting regarding the value of his name and image.
The expert determined the use of Drake’s name on the website was valued at $1 million. He reached that decision based on comparable celebrities, including the Kardashians being paid $1 million to appear at a club, Alicia Keys’ $3 million deal with Gunthy-Renkers, Gwyneth Paltrow making $3 million on a makeup deal, and a Lebron James sponsored tweet going for $140,000.
A judge has yet to rule on the motions.