Dr. Dre and his wife of over 24 years are divorcing and it has been nothing shy of the public eye. It seems like every month there is a new update that shows the battle getting messier and messier. Most recently, it has been reported that Dr. Dre’s wife, Nicole Young, has requested ownership of the producer and musician’s well-known trademarked name, Dr. Dre as well as the trademark for his hit album, “The Chronic”.
According to court documents, Dr. Dre’s legal team is asking the court to shut down Nicole’s lawsuit over the trademarks, but does she actually have any legal grounds?
Prenup Problems: “Forgot About Dre”
Nicole and Dre were married four years after he released The Chronic and he did not file to trademark his name until a year after they were married, which in many cases can mean that the rights to the trademarks are community property. However, it has been reported by Yahoo! News that Nicole signed a prenuptial agreement that allegedly agreed to “keep separate all income and property acquired before and during the marriage.”
Nicole filed a lawsuit that claims Dre transferred the rights to the trademark into a new company that he owns solely because he wanted to hide their community property. She also claims that she was “coerced” into signing the prenup.
Now, Dr. Dre is threatening to subpoena his wedding guests to prove that Nicole willing signed the prenup. Nicole on the other hand claims that her husband later tore up the document in a romantic gesture, which Dre disputes, according to Yahoo! News.
Throughout Dr. Dre’s career, he has obtained a net worth of over $1 billion, mostly thanks to the success of his audio systems, “Beats Music” and “Beats Electronics” which was purchased by Apple in 2014 for $3 billion. However, his net worth has the potential to drop way below that number, if Nicole is successful in her efforts.
Dr. Dre’s lawyer said in court documents, “Plaintiff Nicole Young, after commencing divorce proceedings against Defendant Andre Young, seeking over $400 Million, then stealing almost $400,000.00 from an LLC that funds Defendant Young’s recording studio, draining its entire bank account, Plaintiff has decided that $400,400,000.00 and one lawsuit are not enough. She is now suing Defendant Young and another LLC in a separate lawsuit, having the temerity to claim that trademarks to Defendant Young’s performing name, ‘Dr. Dre,’ and to his first solo album, entitled ‘The Chronic,’ have been unlawfully transferred from Defendant Young to his wholly-owned LLC.”
Mistresses in the Mix?
Ever since Nicole filed for divorce in June, new information about the couple’s personal life has been brought forward, including the possibility that Dr. Dre cheated on his wife, and with more than one partner.
According to court documents filed by Nicole, Dr. Dre allegedly executed “rampant and repeated marital misconduct” and may have even fathered a child outside if their union, according to Yahoo! News. Nicole also named three of the alleged mistresses and asked them to be called as witnesses in their divorce trial. It has been reported that all three women will be represented by the same attorney.
We do not know the details of the alleged prenuptial agreement between the two, but if there was a clause that has to do with marital misconduct and the court finds Dre guilty of such, it could be detrimental to his bank account.
“Dr. Dre’s intellectual property issues resulting from his marital dissolution demonstrate the importance of protecting your intellectual property assets, as early on as possible. Entrepreneurs never know how successful they may become, but it may too late to fix intellectual property issues after success strikes,” says Influencer Attorney Raees Mohamed, “Dr. Dre is arguably one of the most prominent rappers and producers of our time. His name is iconic. Yet something as simple as registering the name or properly executing a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial could have saved him from what might turn out to be a devastating blow to his intellectual property. Every brand, influencer, and musician should learn from this. We’re looking forward to how this case will be resolved.”
We will continue to keep you updated as this case unfolds.
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Photo Credit: Jason Persse, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons