Tyrese and Joan Pendergrass Lawsuit Has New Development
Pendergrass filed a response, claiming that the rights for the film actually belonged to Warner Brothers and not Voltron Entertainment. Pendergrass argued that Voltron has no say in negotiations.
As Black Enterprise previously reported, Tyrese Gibson’s production company, Voltron Entertainment, is suing the widow of Teddy Pendergrass, Joan Pendergrass, claiming that she agreed to sell the rights to the life story of her late husband in 2011. In its lawsuit, Voltron claims that Pendergrass’s choice to not go through with a renewal in 2022 has cost them approximately $450,000.
A new development in the case has occurred. Joan filed a response, claiming that the rights for the film actually belonged to Warner Brothers and not Voltron Entertainment. According to the motion, Joan argued that Voltron has no say in negotiations, “thereby making Warner Bros. the successor-in-interest to Voltron with respect to the Option Agreement and Voltron no longer a party to the Option Agreement.”
On Nov. 20, Judge Stanley Blumenfeld Jr. set a mandatory scheduling conference for Dec. 15, 2023. The magistrate also set the deadline for both parties to file a Joint Rule Report by Dec. 5.
What this means, effectively, is that the case is likely heading toward a resolution. According to the Department of Justice, in Southern California, where the case is happening, settlement conferences are used in civil cases to determine how complex a matter is before ultimately arriving at a judgment. Typically, this is done so the parties involved have an opportunity to settle out of court. A trial date will be set if no settlement is agreed to during the conference.
Tyrese has long been vocal about his desire to portray the legendary R&B crooner, releasing a statement upon the announcement that he was set to portray Teddy in a film that Warner Brothers had the rights to. Entertainment Weekly reported that it was to be produced by Donald De Line, Lee Daniels, and Tyrese, with Joan serving as its executive producer.
The multihyphenate’s excitement was palpable through his statement: “I am honored to take this journey…This is the role that I feel I was born to play. Teddy Pendergrass embraced me and before he passed, put the responsibility on my shoulders to tell his story. Being here in this time and in this space and moment with Lee Daniels, Donald De Line, Little Marvin, and Warner Bros. is an answered prayer. Teddy, I just hope we make you, your wife and family proud…Here we go!”