An Atlanta wig designer is suing hip hop superstar Nicki Minaj for $30 million, claiming intellectual property infringement.
In the civil complaint filed Friday morning in federal court, Terrence Davidson claims he and Minaj, his former client, struck a deal to form a wig-making business.
But Davidson claims Minaj, whose real name is Onika Maraj, started the business without his consent or knowledge, turning it into a multi-million dollar business selling his designs.
“I actually hand-made these wigs,” Davidson said. “For me to see them in stores and not getting credit for them is upsetting.”
But he said there was nothing in writing between Maraj and himself promising a business agreement.
Neither Minaj nor her representatives could be reached for comment.
Davidson said he worked for Minaj for three years, and the two discussed going into business to market the signature wig designs Minaj became known for wearing.
“She would always say, ‘I got you,’ ” he said. “So I thought I was going to be taken care of. I trusted her. I felt like what we were about to do we were going to do together.”
But roughly a year ago, Davidson said he was surprised to see his designs in stores under the name Pink Personality. Pink Personality, Minaj’s company, is also being sued.
“When I found out,” he said, “I cried.”
Davidson’s attorney Christopher Chestnut accused Maraj of theft and cheating, saying Davidson put other potential business opportunities on hold with the anticipation of working with her.
“She’s stealing his intellectual property,” Chestnut said. “He’s entitled to compensation.”