Lee Daniels Ordered to Pay Damon Dash $1.7 Million In Richard Pryor Biopic Lawsuit - Black Enterprise

Lee Daniels Ordered to Pay Damon Dash $1.7 Million In Richard Pryor Biopic Lawsuit

Lee Daniels
Image: Lee Daniels

Roc-A-Fella co-founder Damon Dash will be heading to the bank. According to the Blast, Dash has settled a lawsuit he filed against Empire co-creator Lee Daniels for a nearly $2 million investment in a long-dormant Richard Pryor biopic.

In the suit, Dash sued Daniels for $5 million, arguing that the filmmaker didn’t share details about the project’s development as was stated in their contract. Dash was suing for lost profit and interest on the investment. The suit was actually settled late last year in a confidential deal. Per the settlement agreement, Daniels will pay Dash a total of $1,782,500 in installments from November 2018 until January 2021.

It was also stipulated that Dash will relinquish his co-executive producer credit if and when Daniels releases the Pryor biopic and won’t share in any of the 5% of profits Daniels would make on the backend. Dash also agreed to stop making disparaging remarks about Daniels in public and on social media. Dash posted his verbal confrontation with Daniels on YouTube last year at a Diana Ross concert, where Dash is heard asking Daniels to return the money he invested in the project.

The Blast, which obtained the court documents, reported that Daniels included a provision prohibiting Dash from disparaging him publicly. The deal states, “Dash hereby agrees that he will not make any derogatory or disparaging statement(s) to anyone concerning any of the Daniels Defendants, at any time, the impact of which would materially damage the reputation of the other. It includes, “statements relating to the Defendants [sic] capability, integrity, honor, character, respect for black culture, skill, background intentions, or financial conditions.”

At one point, the movie had Mike Epps attached to star in it and Oprah Winfrey as a producer. The last known update had the Weinstein Company, now defunct, involved in the production in 2014, but there have been no additional updates about the film.

After the settlement was made back in November 2018, TMZ asked Dash about Daniels and the suit. “I’m good,” the record executive said. “Just happy two people from the culture could work things out.”