When it rains it pours, and Ryan Leslie is submerged in bad news at the moment. Late last week, a judge tacked on an additional $180,000 on top of the $1 million he must pay for the recovery of his stolen laptop.
The extra fee has been added to cover the interest acquired on the original reward.
Leslie's backpack was stolen while in Cologne, Germany in 2010. He originally offered $20,000 for its return, and upped the price when no one responded. A German man named Armin Augstein contacted authorities claiming to have recovered the backpack in a forest. He was able to identify Leslie by doing an Internet search after finding the singer/songwriter's passport in the bag.
In November a federal court in Manhattan sided with Augstein, who filed a lawsuit against Leslie, and ordered him to fork over the $1 million as promised. Leslie's lawyer, David DeStefano announced that he would not contend the $180,000 motion as he is looking to appeal the entire ruling. “He made a second reward video and offered $1 million for just the intellectual property on the external hard drive and computer, the session files,” DeStefano said. “They're different from just an MP3, MP3s are nothing for a producer or a studio engineer, they can't do anything with them. They need the session filed. These were his compositions.
“This music was stolen from him,” DeStefano continued. “That was it. That was his composition. Those were his files, and he was unable to release and album for two years. So as an artist he released two albums in 2009, and then he was not able to release an album for two years.
Augstein on the other hand doesn't sympathize with the Grammy nominee believing that had Leslie responded to his inquires he wouldn't have had to sue. “Had Mr. Leslie honored his promise, or responded to the repeated requests for contact, this matter could have been amicably resolved a long time ago without litigation,” his lawyer, Michael S. Fischman, pointed out.
Overcome with emotion, last month Leslie cried on stage when speaking of the ruling.