Akon has alleged that his former music producer Devyne Stephens only filed a lawsuit because the rapper was pursuing other projects.Rapper Akon claims his former business partner is simply asking a judge to freeze his assets “out of spite,” new Manhattan court papers show. Devyne Stephens — a music exec who has worked with Jay-Z, Destiny’s Child, Usher and Pink – had asked a judge last month to freeze Akon’s Big Apple assets amid Stephens’ $4 million lawsuit accusing Akon of owing money on a previous settlement.
Akon fired back in court documents Monday that Stephens only made the recent motion to retaliate against the rapper to “damage Akon’s reputation out of spite, while he is engaged in some of the most consequential and ambitious projects of his entrepreneurial career,” the singer’s lawyers wrote in the Manhattan Supreme Court papers. Stephens has previously compared the musician’s plans to build a futuristic city in Senegal to a Ponzi scheme, citing the opinion of retired federal Special Agent Scot Thomasson.
But Thomasson’s “supposed investigative expertise” and opinions in the case are “nothing more than character assassination,” Akon’s filing claims. Stephens’ accusations “have inflicted unwarranted damage on Akon,” the court papers allege.Stephens previously painted Akon as a “dishonorable spendthrift that shirks his responsibilities and does not keep promises,” the filing claims. Akon is asking the judge to reject Stephens’ bid to freeze his assets. Stephens’ lawyer declined to comment.