Roc Nation CEO to sit for deposition in Megan Thee Stallion’s label lawsuit, judge rules

A Houston judge ruled late Thursday (January 19). Megan Thee stallion‘s manager, Roc Nation CEO Desiree Perezwill sit for a hearing in the star’s ongoing war with her label, rejecting Megan’s arguments that the label “harassed” Perez by trying to oust her.

For months, the two sides sparred about Roc Nation big wig to answer questions from lawyers for 1501 Certified Entertainment amid Megan’s contentious split with the Houston-based label. The company’s lawyers called Perez “one of the most critical” witnesses in the case; Megan’s lawyers said 1501 was simply trying to “harass” a busy manager who had little relevant information to share.

In a ruling released Thursday afternoon, Judge Robert Schaffer sided with 1501 — denying a motion by Megan’s lawyers seeking a so-called protective order that would have shielded Perez from the deposition. Although he ruled on detailed arguments from both sides, the judge did not include any written opinion explaining his reasoning for the decision.

It is unclear when such a sit-down between 1501’s lawyers and Perez will take place. A representative for Megan and for Roc Nation did not immediately return a request for comment Friday.

The star rapper (real name Megan Pete) has been fought with 1501 for more than two years, alleging that the company tricked the young artist into signing an “unconscionable” record deal in 2018 that was well below industry standards. She says this when she signed a new management agreement with Jay-Z‘s Roc Nation in 2019, she got “real lawyers” who helped her see that the deal was “crazy”.

This core conflict has evolved into further lawsuits, with each side accusing the other of various wrongdoings and demanding millions in damages. A judge reigned in December that the case must be decided by a jury; a date has not yet been set.

As both sides prepared to present their case, 1501 sought to have Perez sit for a deposition — meaning she would meet with the company’s lawyers and answer questions about Megan’s case under oath. But the rapper’s lawyers quickly threw a challenge flag in November seeking the protective order that would have shielded Perez from what they called “gamesmanship” in 1501.

Megan’s lawyers pointed to what is known as the apex doctrine, which limits when senior executives can be forced to make a statement. (It’s the same rule Spotify cited last year when it tried to shield the CEO Daniel Ek from questioning in a copyright case.) Under the apex doctrine, busy top officials need testify only when they have unique information that cannot be gleaned from other less burdensome sources.

The label quickly fired back in December, claiming Perez was instead a key “fact witness” who had been “directly, personally and substantially involved in the underlying facts of the litigation.” They claimed she had had direct talks about whether Megan’s 2021 release Something for you Hotties counted as an “album” under her deal—a central dispute in the case. And they said Perez had personally negotiated one of Megan’s record deals at issue in the lawsuit.

Attorneys for 1501 declined to comment on the decision Friday.

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