Jay-Z’s attorney reportedly hired a private investigator to follow and keep tabs on a key witness in the music mogul’s upcoming trial against perfume company Parlux Fragrances.
According to a report by Law360, Jay-Z’s attorney, Alex Spiro, hired a private investigator to spy on former Parlux Fragrances President Donald J. Loftus in an effort to prove he is able to testify in person at the upcoming trial.
Parlux Fragrances filed a lawsuit in 2016 alleging that Jay-Z did not fulfill a deal with the perfume company in which the rapper was supposed to promote the product Jay-Z Gold cologne. The filed lawsuit is set to go to trial with the Manhattan Supreme Court, with jury selection beginning today, but Loftus has claimed that he cannot testify in person because he is scared of potentially catching Covid-19.
Loftus even allegedly obtained two letters from his gastroenterologist advising him against testifying in court. Jay-Z’s attorney believes the letters from Loftus’ gastroenterologist advising his patient to stay home during the pandemic are false because alleged evidence obtained by the private investigator proves otherwise.
“While the doctor's letters claim Mr. Loftus was so fearful of COVID-19 that he had not been indoors other than his house since the beginning of the pandemic, the statements have proven to be false," Spiro stated in the newest court documents filed on Friday.
"Just last week, Mr. Loftus was caught in public without a mask, in stores, on buses, dining inside restaurants, and at a crowded parade," the rapper’s attorney argued, adding, “Loftus should testify in person with everyone else.”
The legal team representing Parlux Fragrances and Loftus have since responded, claiming the accusations are "incorrect, misleading and inaccurate."
During a preliminary hearing on October 1, New York State Supreme Court Justice Andrew Borrok made his thoughts clear regarding the possibility of Loftus providing his testimony remotely.
"You do what you want," Justice Borrok said. "But if you're serious about winning this case, having the president of the company testify remotely, even if I allow it, it's a terrible look. It's just a bad look."
Former New York Police Sergeant Peter Devine, the private investigator hired by Jay-Z’s team to surveil Loftus, says the day after the preliminary hearing, he witnessed Loftus out and about without a mask in Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
Devine also says he witnessed Loftus dining out on multiple occasions, including going to the dry cleaners, grocery store, and even riding the public bus.
Devine believes Loftus can be charged with violating a criminal law for filing false statements to the court.
Loftus' lawyers deny Devine’s claims and findings.