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Memphitz sues producers of ‘Love & Hip Hop Atlanta’ for defamation over K. Michelle allegations

ATLANTA, GA - MAY 17:  Record Co. Executive Memphitz attends V-103 Private Atlanta BATTLESHIP Screening at AMC Phipps Plaza on May 17, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Universal)

ATLANTA, GA - MAY 17: Record Co. Executive Memphitz attends V-103 Private Atlanta BATTLESHIP Screening at AMC Phipps Plaza on May 17, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Universal)

Former Jive Records executive Mickey “Memphitz” Wright Jr. has sued the owners of VH1 and producers of the network’s hit show “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” for defamation after his former girlfriend accused him of physical abuse and embezzlement on the program, which just concluded its first season Sept. 3 to big ratings.

“Our position is he didn’t do anything to break any laws,” said Memphitz’s attorney Alcide Honore in an interview today. “She presented a patently false framework of facts and descriptions about the nature of their relationship and cast an image of my client that is defamatory in nature.”

Wright, in the lawsuit filed in the United States Northern District of Georgia on Sept. 5, 2012, asks for $15 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages.

Wright’s former girlfriend, R&B singer, Kimberly Michelle Pate (who is known on the show as K. Michelle), didn’t have much of a story line the first season but talked quite a bit about how she had been abused by an unnamed former record executive and was upset when other members of the show didn’t believe her.

Honore said although Wright’s name was never uttered on the show, it was readily obvious to anybody in the industry who K. Michelle was talking about. His name was referenced frequently on gossip and news sites online as well.

Curiously, K. Michelle is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit. Honore said it was a “strategic decision” to omit her from the filing, though he didn’t specify why. “As is often the case in lawsuits, things are subject to change,” Honore said. “There’s no guarantee she won’t be named a defendant in the future if circumstances change.”

Wright, a music executive for his own company Do Work Enterprises, describes himself in the lawsuit as “maintaining his humble roots and southern drawl despite his success, which ultimately lead others in the industry to call him ‘Memphitz,’ named after the city of Memphis, Tenn., where he was born and raised.”

Wright signed K. Michelle in 2008 and the pair was involved romantically in 2009, according to the lawsuit.

During the debut episode of “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” in June, K. Michelle said after six months of dating, “one day he flipped and beat my ***. All I can remember is just screaming and saying, ‘It’s me. Like, it’s me. I love you. It’s me, K. It’s me.’ He wasn’t there. People behind the scenes, from the record label to everywhere, they knew the truth… He bought chains, rings, everything out of my recording budget. It was over $2 million with nothing to show for it. No album, no music, no anything.”

The lawsuit claims she “knowingly made false statements with intent to cause harm to Mr. Wright and increase ratings.” The defendants “intentionally aired K. Michelle’s false statements.” She continued to make similar statements the rest of the series, the lawsuit said.

MEMPHIS, TN - OCTOBER 07: K. Michelle attends the The Get Schooled National Challenge & Tour at East High School on October 7, 2010 in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Greg Campbell/Getty Images for The Get Schooled Foundation)

MEMPHIS, TN - OCTOBER 07: K. Michelle attends the The Get Schooled National Challenge & Tour at East High School on October 7, 2010 in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Greg Campbell/Getty Images for The Get Schooled Foundation)

K. Michelle, in an interview with me before the show launched in June, didn’t describe her relationship with Memphitz in any detail but did say she felt trapped while with the record label.

“For two years, no one would listen,” she said. “I was silenced because I was on the label.” (She was dropped when Jive Records folded in 2011.)

To TMZ, K. Michelle gave this response:

“I’ve always been told that the truth shall set you free. I stand behind my story 100 percent. I came on the ‘Love & Hip Hop Atlanta’ show mainly because I wanted to give a voice and bring light to a very serious issue.

I am very grateful to VH1 and Monami Ent. for the opportunity to tell my story, and touch lives worldwide … I look forward to having my day in court and finally having the truth of my story confirmed in a court of law.

Hopefully others will not have to go through this and then have their stories challenged to this degree because people now want to try to salvage whatever reputation they may have had.”

TMZ also said K. Michelle has retained New York entertainment attorney Matt Middleton as counsel. (I left a phone message with him.)

A VH1 spokeswoman declined to comment. I also left messages with the production companies Monami Entertainment and NFGTV, Inc.

Wright is currently married to Toya Carter Wright, who was previously married to hip-hop singer Lil Wayne and starred herself in a couple of former BET reality shows, “Tiny & Toya” and “Toya: A Family Affair.”

In the lawsuit, Wright is asking for loss of earnings since the show debuted June 18 given the “injury to his reputation caused by Defendants” and “emotional stress and diminution of his ability to earn a higher income in the future as a consequence of the impairment to his reputation.”

He also asked for damages related to negligence and punitive damages and attorneys’ fees. And he wants a trial by jury.

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

57 comments Add your comment

bama mama

September 7th, 2012
6:13 pm

Whaaa?
Loss wages… I never heard anything he produced.
I believe K. Michelle
Team K. Michelle
Just because she didn’t have a police report doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
I’m Jus’ sayin’

boss lady s

September 7th, 2012
7:05 pm

I was in an abusive relationship for a few months.. and I don’t believe her. Why wait so long to speak out? Just dont make sense..

Son of Sammy Davis Jr, Jr

September 7th, 2012
7:18 pm

It’ll be settled out of court and there will be a gag order. He’ll get some money in a settlement and K. Michelle will never be able to mention abuse at his hands again on the show. This will probably mean she’ll get drop from the show.

Word on the street is:

1. Rasheeda and her husband won’t be back for the nest season because she’s a little to normal, reasonable and stable for the program
2. Momma D is off the show for being a LOT too much. VH1 got a lot of negative feedback about her character. And yes in that order. LOL

baby s

September 7th, 2012
8:20 pm

for all you people who say that k michelle is lying and the lady above who said that she walked away after a few months of abuse so k michelle must b lying coz she waited soo long to speak out shut up and first of all well done for getting out of it bt always remember it took you a few months to walk away and theres women out there who will say that why did u bare with it for soo long coz they walked away from the abuse the first time it happened now my point is we werent there we dont knw what she went fru avent u heard of women who put up with abuse for years and years till dey finally find the strenght to walk away persnally i dont believe anybody has a right to speak on a situation they knw nuting about. dont judge not all that glitters is gold not every couple u c happy is happy. u dnt no wat happens behind closed doors. u dont no memphitz personally or what he is capable of or isnt capable of so ssshhhh.

truthbtold

September 7th, 2012
9:10 pm

Good! It’s about time someone did something to curb the production of foolishness that is referred to as reality television. The audiences are too ignorant to demand real entertainment, thus the producers continue to market individuals with no class and dignity making a fool of themselves in the public eye for a few bucks. You can’t cause embarrassment and humiliation to another individual just because you want attention. There use to be a common practice of keeping your business private, until these clowns started producing low budget television for people with diminished entertainment thresholds.

w. webster

September 7th, 2012
9:15 pm

i agree with baby s. the comment above about k. michelle lying is stupid. you wonder why it took her so long to come out.. i wonder why it took months for you to get out of an abusive relationship. the answer you give might be the same response from her.

MEME

September 7th, 2012
9:29 pm

Enter your comments here

chell

September 7th, 2012
9:40 pm

i believe her, i think he is trying to cover it up because he does not want he public to know.and his wife a joke look at it she was married to little wayne she would say anything to stay by her man.

Felita Morgan

September 7th, 2012
10:29 pm

Whether she was abused or not is something only the two of them know. Until there is a judiciary ruling it’s he said-she said and somewhere in there, IS the truth. Some people believe her, some simply do not. But to tell someone to Shut-Up is just tacky and extremely classless. People have opinions and by all means, disagree if you MUST but the tell people dont judge others then in the next sentence you do just that and then tell to hush or shhhhhh, because like you, they do not know the accused, makes your statement pointless and void.

Well Ok Then........

September 7th, 2012
10:40 pm

@FM…..I agree 100%! There is an adult way for people to disagree, but the respect is lost when it can be done on a computer with a alias. But no matter what name, moniker or initials are used, rude is just that rude. Even if you do not agree with what someone else’s opinion may be, that does not mean you have to disrespect them to get your point across. Thank you.

Ruperta Francis

September 7th, 2012
10:42 pm

I really hope she is telling the truth. It is questionable with a lot of why’s and if’s. Her character (loud and obnoxious – always ready for a fight), the platform she chose (an unrealistic reality show) and the length of time she took to get her voice is all the factors that play a role in why we don’t want to believe her. But coming from a home where abuse was real for the best part of my young life, I would never judge a woman who finally finds her voice. But sometimes these are the things that make it so difficult for the authorities to want to pursue these sensitive matters. If she is lying she is making it real hard for the women who are really getting abused.

Racquel Chin

September 7th, 2012
10:58 pm

I do like the guy don’t get me wrong but im sorry to say i believe my girl K-Michelle and the fact that he’s trying to get Money out of what he did like he feels like he need to get paid for beating her nar i defo cant get down wid that and im not saying that he cant change but like K says NO BODY KNOWS WHAT’ GOES ON BEHIND CLOSED DOORS

keepinit100

September 7th, 2012
11:33 pm

I believe my girl k no one should judge her least of all rasheeda so what she is friends with memphiz and toya i think if rasheeda stop tryin to the boss maybe her husband could stand up and be a man

Fred ™

September 8th, 2012
1:14 am

Racquel Chin

September 7th, 2012
10:58 pm

I do like the guy don’t get me wrong but im sorry to say i believe my girl K-Michelle and the fact that he’s trying to get Money out of what he did like he feels like he need to get paid for beating her nar i defo cant get down wid that and im not saying that he cant change but like K says NO BODY KNOWS WHAT’ GOES ON BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

keepinit100

September 7th, 2012
11:33 pm

I believe my girl k no one should judge her least of all rasheeda so what she is friends with memphiz and toya i think if rasheeda stop tryin to the boss maybe her husband could stand up and be a man
++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Are you two for real? Are you this functionally illiterate or is this someone doing a parody?

chynamaxx

September 8th, 2012
2:52 am

I was in an abusive relationship for 4 years (abuse on my end as well as his). I stayed because I loved him and everytime we had an altercation we apologized and promised it wouldn’t happen again. Well…it did. This went on until we finally got tired of causing each other pain. “If” the situation happened with K Michelle and Mickey, I can understand why it took her so long to leave. BUT…what I don’t understand is why it was never reported to the police or at least any hospital visits were made. If the abuse was as bad as she claim it was, I would expect should would have needed some type of medical attention. As well, she said he threatened her son. Even if she didn’t care to report him beating on her, once he made a threat against her child, that should have been an eye opener. Threats to minors is something that the police take very seriously and would have threw him up under the jail for. As mentioned before, with her being such an outspoken person and always ready to fight, what happened in this situation? (Shrugs shoulders) I personally don’t believe her. My suggestion is they both go on Maury and take a lie detector test. This will resolve the whole situation and as K Michelle said….the truth will set her free.

God's child

September 8th, 2012
3:18 am

im so happy k came out an said what he did i believe her only because they both have money so shes not trying to bring him down because of that at all how i feel no one was there so no we cant speak but my mother died when i was four years old she was 23years old my dad killed her an he was 23 as well i mother was being abused an wouldnt speak so k ilu girl an im glad you alive an lived to speak on what happened to you God is able be strong an remain the beautiful woman of God that you are you shall come out on top no doubt!congraudz on your new start

Imagine this

September 8th, 2012
8:03 am

I feel as though the truth will set u free. TRUTHFULLY I’m on the fence b/c K Michelle is very passionate about the whole situation making me to believe she’s telling the truth. On the other hand Memphis hits ( whatever) is putting is rep on the line ( livelihood) by denying all charges and not to mention trying to be com

Imagine this

September 8th, 2012
8:10 am

(contin) compensated for his actions. If it comes out that it’s TRUE he will have to get a new career & once a beater always a beater ( Toya). He better think twice about putting PAWS on her b/c then he has to answer to Cash Money.. If not true, K Michelle better get a new career maybe doing jingles:-)

daloyal1

September 8th, 2012
8:31 am

K. Michelle talked about the abuse way before Love & Hip Hop. Listen to her old mixtapes she tells her story of being abused.

casual.blog.observer

September 8th, 2012
9:40 am

no wonder a show with such IGNORANT characters gets such high ratings. as i read the comments i began to realize that the show caters to all of you IGNORANT, grammatically incorrect, phonetic spelling imbeciles that comment here. LoL! you bass ackwards idiots, it’s 2012 you have no excuse for being stupid as you are. READ, READ, READ! jet, ebony, essence and people magazines don’t count though, try some worthwhile publications like Newsweek, the economist, money magazine and/or time. why do blacks subscribe exclusively to “pamphlets” that highlight “the black experience”? after all of these years of living the “black experience” don’t you FOOLS owe yourselves an expanded consciousness? don’t you want more out of life than reading non- thought provoking weekly and monthly pamphlets, watching ignorant people that mirror you on tv or better yet wait on the next gender-bending, cross-dressing, shameful new tyler perry flick? c’mon black folks, WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lena

September 8th, 2012
10:01 am

One thing the article got wrong was that K was dropped from Jive. She wasn’t dropped they actually moved her over to RCA in October 2011. She had to fight with the assistance of a lawyer to get out of her record deal. She hasn’t even been out of the record deal for a year yet; a record company that wouldn’t allow her to fully speak the truth on the situation. She has always spoken about being abused in her music. As a matter of fact one of her skits called “testimony” on her “What’s the 901″ mixtape she actually named the date of abuse saying, “I will never forget that day, July 26th”. She has been an advocate for DV for a while now and has spoken openly about how she was involved in a violent relationship. I truly believe this is something that he did to her. She has so much emotion and passion about this incident. Not only that, he has admitted to “restraining” her and “covering her mouth” in an altercation. I’m not sure if any of you have seen pics or video of K from 2009 but she was a tiny little thing then. You not gonna sit up here and tell me a man that damn big is really going to have to put that much force and energy into walking and/or getting away from a girl that damn tiny. Why else was she “strategically” left out of the lawsuit? My thoughts, she has some damning info that would really hurt that suit. I am glad she is not backing down and has teamed up with a lawyer of her own and will be taking this to court herself. She is way too talented to need to make up such an outlandish story. I really hope this is not something that is going to keep her from being on the next season of Love and Hip Hop.

kimmy

September 8th, 2012
10:55 am

WOW really? she’s been telling this story for years so why now sue? he tryna get his name out there, this must be why k.michellle went ahead an “leaked” those text messages on http://invisiblebug.com, they are extra incriminating, i bet this little lawsuit won’t last long. and to top it off memphitz you don’t have a name to defame so boy boo. but this could be good….

TK

September 8th, 2012
11:13 am

I think the problem people have is the platform she used to bring up this situation. These so-called reality shows are so over the top and dramatic for no reason that you really don’t know what is true and what is just for ratings. I tried watching the show with a female friend of mine and I just didn’y understand the draw of it. It’s pretty much a soap opera with people who are supposedly famous but once you sit back and analyze it the show doesn’t sense what so ever. You have the producer Stevie J. who has his main girl and side chick on the show when any real player would keep this out of the limelight. You have a rapper who has never made the breakthrough and his hustler mother who is in her own universe. The above named R&B singer who hasn’t released an album and a rapper who hasn’t hit it big either. I’m sure there are a few people I may have left out. I ask again what is the draw of this show?

d lo

September 8th, 2012
11:23 am

i do believe her because i had a friend who had a baby by man who beat her andshe stayed for 3 years she never made police reports until finally her parents forced her to and even after she claimed she had left and got a restraining order against him. she was still secretly going to meet up with him claiming she loved him and wouldn’t give up on him. she finally left after he alomst hurt their child and even though she left you can tell she still wants to be with him.

I also have a cousin who is a pretty coo person but everytime he gets around his babymama he always fight and someone ends up getting hurt while the other goes to jail and its because they bring the worst out of each other. but now that they had split up for good. they are both in happy relationships with no abuse.

Miss Jai

September 8th, 2012
11:27 am

I want to know why he is suing when his name was not mentioned. Ok, people in the industry knows so he says but who says they are not referring to someone else. I think the lawsuit is frivolous. He was just on the internet saying The music business is corrupt. He probably did take the money earmarked for her record and spend it on himself. One thing is for sure, there is not disputing that K Michelle does not have a record under the Jive Record Label. So Memphitz, what happened to her recording budget because as was seen on his wife’s show, he was living in a very nice home. I think he should think twice about this lawsuit because they could always ask for an accounting of how every dime of her recording budget was spent and he better be able to produce receipts. At least this is one of the questions that I would ask if I were her attorney.

liberalefty

September 8th, 2012
12:16 pm

as a man i believe her…their is no reason to hit a woman unless shes trying to physically harm u, other than that walk away..

Whitney

September 8th, 2012
12:55 pm

Good! I don’t believe her. She made me sick talking about this. If she was beat THAT bad where is the police report and evidence??? That chick is delirious and it showed on the show. This is what she gets for running her mouth so much for ratings lmao.

Lynn

September 8th, 2012
1:47 pm

If she was telling the truth, there’s nothing he can do about it. There is no law against speaking negatively of someone if it’s true. In order for him to win, they would have to prove she intentionally lied.

cricket

September 8th, 2012
4:14 pm

im not for violence at all but if this happen ,tangible evidence, need too be brought forward cause a picture says plenty

tae

September 8th, 2012
7:07 pm

I believe k.michelle she was too emotional about the situation……….

jojo

September 8th, 2012
8:23 pm

Im A guy my girl beat on me fo a year until i couldnt take it no mo i tried my best to make it work and not knock her ass out so you never know what goes on

Dulce

September 8th, 2012
8:30 pm

I hope Memphitz gets nothing for being the dumbass that he is. He is trying to sue people with money cuz hes broke. He’s not sueing k-michelle cuz she don’t got millions. he is used to screwing people over so he is just trying to get easy money again. I had no clue k. michelle was talking abou him until Toya opened her big ass mouth about the situation. Wack ass. lastly karma is a biznaezee…..you got yours coming Memphitz…hahahaha.

mama

September 8th, 2012
11:44 pm

If you want K. Michelle’s version of what happened, how it happened, etc. LOOK AT HER 21 MINUTE INTERVIEW ON YOUTUBE WITH POWER 105 “THE BREAKFAST CLUB.” Also, for the women on here talking about where’s the report, etc. do you know that there are women all over the world (and some men) who are being abused that never report the abuse because of the embarrassment; fear for their life; and/or feeling of still being in love with the person. Nobody wastes that much time telling the same story, the same way, if it didn’t happen. Further, I don’t believe Monami Ent., Viacom, etc. would have put her on LAHHA before vetting her story to ensure that it was accurate (in order to avoid being sued). And since truth is a defense against defamation, I don’t believe this lawsuit will stand up in court. Last, how can you be defamed, when no one said your name?

mama

September 8th, 2012
11:48 pm

Rodney you need to change your headline, which is misleading. He’s not suing K. Michelle. He’s suing the production, parent companies.

JC

September 8th, 2012
11:53 pm

nini

September 9th, 2012
1:58 am

The craziest thing about this whole thing is that I never heard her mention his name on the show. Unless i missed that episode, I think that proves his guilt…..

CaliDelta

September 9th, 2012
7:11 am

About 2 people here have listed the facts. Yes, Kimberly has been speaking about this situation since it happened. Her only outlet to voice her pain was through her mixtapes, since she was never allowed to record/release her album. And no, she did not stay in the relationship for a long time (they only dated 6 months.) On the Breakfast Club, she mentioned other after-the-fact witnesses, such as other Jive Management and R. Kelly. They knew of the situation, had invested internally and Memphitz was subsequently let go. These people are potential witnesses. R. Kelly immediately took K on tour with him, so she was removed from the environment — but upon her return, Memphitz was terminated. She has not been sued, so go figure. Even if she had more than her reported net worth of $50,000 (before the season), he could have sued for future earnings…given her talent. That he did not sue her, speaks volumes.

angela harrington

September 9th, 2012
9:49 am

You know as being a women. When ever another women
Screams abuse listen. We both don’t know them
Personally. I believe her there’s truth to it. She never
Mention his name. Fans go figure. And the producer of
The show is not going to put herself out there. Go
Figure fans. Just because him and toya happy. He
Knows if he touch toya or her seed. Cashmoney coming
For him. K mishelle had no one to defend her. Go
Figure fans just saying though.

SERIOUSLY?!?

September 9th, 2012
12:10 pm

I’m In total agreement with you, however, I must ask this: are you even black? I feel like your ethnicity is questionable because any SELF RESPECTING black person who speaks as passionately as YOURSELF would NEVER suggest that these reality show stars “MIRROR” them! They certainly are no representation of MYSELF —-

SERIOUSLY?!?

September 9th, 2012
12:11 pm

Sorry….that comment was for “casual blog observer”!

Mercedes

September 9th, 2012
12:12 pm

this is just funny to me because if she said it why he sueing the producer and not her DUH YOU NON THINKING PEOPLE….HE GUILTY!!! HELLO

midtown diva

September 9th, 2012
4:11 pm

Memphis is guilty as SIN…..and No you gets no Money from sueing…He He….LOL

Andrea P.

September 9th, 2012
4:58 pm

I think he has some nerves to sue anybody for anything!!! I believe that he abused her. Everyone deals with their situation differently. It doesn’t matter when she decided to speak out. I have been in a very abusive relationship as a teenager and I never talk about it, by choice. When she talks about what she endured I can see the pain in her eyes and hear the hurt and pain in her voice. I am proud that she decided to speak up and speak for those that have been silence and to embarassed to tell there story. Keep on keeping on K. Michelle. You are not alone!

T

September 9th, 2012
5:27 pm

I think that people should stop talking like they know the truth. You never know what goes on behind closed doors. I will say this, i believe K. Michelle. She reminds me of my ex wife. Things got bad in our relationship and i took my anger out on her i damn ner killed her and that’s being mild. My point is because of the person that i allow others to see they never believed my ex. If you were not there then keep your mouth shut until the truth comes out. You never know what it is that a person is going through inside. I applaud they way she is standing strong and defending herself.

dekitcha

September 9th, 2012
8:34 pm

I believe k because I was in an abusive relationship and didn’t leave because in my mind the guy
loved me. But when I did leave I ran as if my name was Jackie Joyner kersey. So he may be filing the suit so that toys won’t think that he is a woman beater

full pulla

September 10th, 2012
3:53 am

@kimmy

How do we know those texts are actually between k and memphitz? That could be from anyone.. but i must admit male or female joseline ass was looking fat in that video wit steebie j. Lol

Lee

September 10th, 2012
10:28 am

Why would K Michelle feel the need to lie? You have to be a con artist to really make up a story like hers and it NEVER changes. The problem with feelings today, we are quickly to defend a MAN instead of one of our own species!! NONE of us was there and at the end of the day, if you don’t believe K Michelle, keep it to yourself!! Women need to learn to stick together and not bash one another!!

Lee

September 10th, 2012
10:28 am

females today*

Pitchy

September 10th, 2012
11:10 am

Guess I’m the last one on Earth to finally realize who KMichelle has been talking about all this time. I just learned last week that her ex was Memphitz. I was clueless.

But, how can he sue when she not once ever mentioned his name? And, I believe it went down the way KMichelle says it went down. That woman has too much pain when telling the story and her story has never changed.

threescompan

September 10th, 2012
11:35 am

P.S. What do you think about Windows 2012?