WASHINGTON — American girl group and dance ensemble Pussycat Dolls’ founder Robin Antin has sued Nicole Scherzinger for allegedly trying to back out of their 2019 agreement to host a reunion tour. She accused her of “extortion” and of demanding “creative control.”

The lawsuit filed on Sept. 3, 2021, in Los Angeles Superior Court states that Scherzinger has threatened to walk away from the extensive tour unless she’s given a majority share and complete creative control in relaunching the group.

In the lawsuit, Antin has said she spent two years negotiating with Scherzinger over the relaunch and, in 2017, received $600,000 from Live Nation that hinged on Scherzinger agreeing to perform in the reunion tour.

The pair came to an agreement dubbed as the Memorandum of Understanding in February 2019. According to it, Scherzinger would be an “active partner” and perform in a reunion tour, including up to 45 live performances expected to start in December 2019.

Scherzinger would have received 49 percent of the shares and profits of a new Pussycat Dolls business, PCD Worldwide. Antin would have got the other 51 percent. However, the Covid-19 pandemic changed their plans.

“Before the originally scheduled dates of the tour, a once-in-a-century global pandemic halted music touring activity,” said the lawsuit

“No other option than to indefinitely postpone the tour until it became safe and economically viable to reschedule,” said the lawsuit.

It was initially rescheduled to May and June 2021 in Europe but later rescheduled again.

Scherzinger offered new terms of the agreement in April 2021, requesting to become the owner of 75 percent of PCD Worldwide, get “complete creative control,” and become the “final decision-making authority,” as per the complaint.

The complaint comes from Antin, who founded The Pussycat Dolls and then brought this dance/singing troupe into the mainstream upon a tip from Jimmy Iovine.

This suit will determine the group’s future as its target is Scherzinger, undoubtedly the biggest breakout name from The Pussycat Dolls and a prominent face on various music-themed competition shows, including “X-Factor,” “Dancing with the Stars,” “Masked Singer.”

She’s also branched into TV and film work like “Moana” and “Dirty Dancing.”

With Scherzinger refusing to participate in the reunion tour unless she gets what she wants, leading to tour dates not being confirmed, Live Nation is said to have demanded $600,000 that it put up initially.

As a result of Scherzinger refusing to perform, Antin wants to be awarded damages, including all profits lost. The choreographer has asked for compensatory and punitive damages, as well as equitable relief due to Scherzinger’s alleged breach and tortious conduct. She demanded a trial by jury.

Antin said that though in February 2019, she and Scherzinger agreed on the MOU, in October 2019, Scherzinger said that she could not confirm “rumors” about The Pussycat Dolls’ upcoming reunion.

“I’ve heard about those rumors as well. I love my girls. I miss touring with them. We had the best times together. But I can’t confirm anything right now,” said Scherzinger.

She said she was “so busy” doing other shows and getting back in the recording studio but noted she “wouldn’t rule” out a reunion.

The Pussycat Dolls, comprised of Ashley Roberts, Kimberly Wyatt, Jessica Sutta, Carmit Bachar, and Melody Thornton, got back together the following year to release new music, sans Thornton.

They dropped the song “React” in February 2020, marking their first single since going on hiatus in 2010. Though, now it appears that plans for the concerts are on hold.

(With inputs from ANI)

Edited by Ojaswin Kathuria and Nikita Nikhil

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