Z.com Sues Chris Rock Over Non-Delivery Of Content
Late Tuesday, December 19, 2000, Z.com filed suit against Chris Rock for repayment of fees in excess of US$1 million for content not delivered. In Z.com's filing, they claim that Rock and his Chris Rock Enterprises entered into a preliminary programming agreement on April 6, 2000 with a finalization deadline of June 30. Z.com then paid Rock $1.075 million on April 10, 2000 as promised. However, Rock quickly counter-sued Z.com and incubator idealab! for intentional misrepresentation, negligence, breach of a written contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. In a statement from Rock's representatives, they said, "It should be further noted that Chris Rock provided Z.com with his complaint (Tuesday) morning in an attempt to give Z.com another opportunity to comply with the agreement. Instead, Z.com filed what Chris Rock regards as a baseless lawsuit to deflect attention away from Z.com's previously reported financial difficulties." Rock claims that Z.com had exclusive rights to any content he created, but was not obligated to create any content. Moreover, "Chris Rock permitted Z.com exclusive rights to use Rock's name and likeness on its site, [and in its marketing efforts]." On October 16, 2000, Z.com laid off 50 workers -- half of its staff after securing an additional round of financing to keep it operating until at least spring 2001. The company's major backers include Internet incubator idealab!, Basic Entertainment, 3 Arts Entertainment, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Maverick Records partner Guy Oseary.