The day after Louis J. Pearlman and his Trans Continental Media targeted his former proteges in 'N Sync with a $150 million lawsuit, parties on both sides of the case began to air their arguments in the court of public opinion.
As we first reported on Tuesday, Pearlman (the group's former guru), Trans Continental Media, Trans Continental Records, and BMG Entertainment (owner of 'N Sync's former label, RCA Records) filed suit against the boy band as well as Zomba Recordings, which owns the label that 'N Sync leapt to earlier this month, Jive Records.
The suit was prompted by 'N Sync's departure from RCA for the Jive roster, and Pearlman's legal team told MTV News earlier this week that the suit also "seeks to obtain a court order to prevent 'N Sync from existing" unless the group honors its management contract with Trans Continental Media and its recording contract with RCA.
Of course, 'N Sync views things a bit differently. "Trans Continental's conduct with regard to 'N Sync is the most glaring, overt and callous example of artist exploitation that the music industry has seen in a long time," the group argued in a statement issued to MTV News on Wednesday. "We look forward to the opportunity to air the full facts and will do so in the weeks to come."
In response, Pearlman's legal team claims, "Louis Pearlman and Trans Continental Records created, developed, financed and groomed 'N Sync and arranged, among other things, a very lucrative recording and distribution agreement with BMG that has been enormously beneficial to the group. They guided 'N Sync every step of the way through the often arduous process that led to the group's great success. Mr. Pearlman and Trans Continental have always acted in the best interests of the group and have tried for months to resolve any differences amicably. They have abided by the mutually agreed upon terms of their contracts, as they believe 'N Sync should, on legal and also on ethical grounds.
"Jive Records' scheme to violate Mr. Pearlman's and Trans Continental's exclusive rights with 'N Sync should sound a sour note throughout the music industry. It is absurd to think that now that the members of 'N Sync have been made rich and famous, they can just turn their backs on Mr. Pearlman and Trans Continental and go someplace else."
As the legal wheels begin rolling, 'N Sync will continue with the business of being 'N Sync. The group launches a U.S. tour on November 26 in Las Vegas and plans to release its next album on Jive Records early next year.
-Robert Mancini, with additional reporting by Kara Manning