A video director sued Justin Timberlake Friday for breach of contract, alleging in Los Angeles federal court that the pop star refuses to promote, market and sell a video documentary the pair made based on the making of the singer’s blockbuster “The 20/20 Experience” album.
John Urbano alleges in the suit that in 2012, after a six-year hiatus from music, Timberlake contracted with the director to film the writing and recording of the singer’s then-new album, according to documents obtained by City News Service.
Rather than simply hire and pay Urbano to create the film, Timberlake allegedly proposed a different arrangement: the two would create the documentary in secret — without pre-approval from the label — take it to the record company, and say, “Pay us,” according to the lawsuit.
Urbano — who directed successful music videos for One Direction and Keith Urban — “agreed, foregoing his customary director’s fee to instead be partners with Mr. Timberlake in this joint venture,” the suit states.
After three months of filming in New York, Paris, Los Angeles and elsewhere, thousands of hours of editing, and numerous cuts, “Urbano created the ‘Making of the 20/20 Experience,’ a documentary that moved Mr. Timberlake to tears” when he first saw it, according to the suit.
But in 2013, as album sales for “The 20/20 Experience” skyrocketed — sales that Timberlake promoted with clips of the documentary — the singer’s “interest in the documentary itself faded,” Urbano alleges.
“Instead of fulfilling his obligations to the joint venture, Mr. Timberlake has failed to take any steps to promote, market, and sell the ‘Making of the 20/20 Experience.’ Mr. Timberlake has increasingly distanced himself from the project and his partner — often using a network of agents, managers, and handlers to interface with Mr. Urbano,” the lawsuit alleges.
The suit seeks to compensate Urbano for what he alleges is Timberlake’s breach of their agreement.
Attempts to reach a representative for Timberlake were not immediately successful.