Ghostface Killah better hope his upcoming collaboration with the Wu-Tang Clan makes a splash on the Billboard Charts because he’s about to come out-of-pocket.
The rapper born Dennis Coles has been embroiled in an Iron Man lawsuit since 2011 after he sampled theme song to Jack Urbont’s 1960s television show The Marvel Super Heroes on his 2000 classic album Supreme Clientele.
Now a New York judge had no choice to award a default judgment in favor of the Urbont all because Ghostdeini didn’t show up to court.
In his Hollywood career, Urbont created music for many television shows including That 70’s Show, Oprah, 20/20, The View and, of significance in this case, the 1960s television show The Marvel Super Heroes. According to Urbont’s 2011 lawsuit, Ghostface Killah (real name: Dennis Coles) sampled the “Iron Man Theme” on two tracks of the rapper’s second album, Supreme Clientele.
Why the case has taken so long can partly be explained by the difficulty of serving Ghostface with the complaint. One was delivered to his business manager, but even a private investigator couldn’t locate the hip-hop star to give him an amended complaint. Eventually, the judge permitted Urbont to serve Coles via a publication notice.
Right before discovery was expected to close, the lawyer for Ghostface requested permission to withdraw from the case on the grounds he hadn’t been paid and that his client refused to communicate with him.
The judge granted the motion, but gave Ghostface a deadline to find a new attorney.
Then, Ghostface failed to show up for a deposition, which led to a warning from the judge about sanctions and a default judgment. In recent months, it appears as though Ghostface has gone AWOL, not responding to attempts to reschedule a deposition, according to Urbont’s attorney.
As a result, Urbont sought a default judgment as well as fees and expenses, and on Thursday, was granted the motion by U.S. District Judge Naomi Buchwald.
Urbont’s attorney Richard Busch told The Hollywood Reporter that he and his client will now begin the process to determine what punitive and statutory damages they will seek from GFK. It is being reported that the amount won’t topple more than $150,000, but it may come close.
The Wu-Tang Clan’s sixth studio effort, A Better Tomorrow arrives in stores on December 2. Pre-order it now on iTunes to support the struggle.