R&B singer Ryan Leslie reportedly lost a million dollar lawsuit this week, two years after promising to reward anyone who discovered his stolen laptop while overseas.
Details on the singer’s major loss has started circulating online.
Jurors taught a big-talking hip-hop artist a lesson about broken promises yesterday when they ordered him to pay the $1 million reward he had offered for the return of his stolen laptop. Cheapskate performer and producer Ryan Leslie must fork over the Benjamins to auto-repair-shop owner Armin Augstein, who found the computer while walking his dog and turned it over to German cops in November 2010. Augstein, who returned home to Pulheim, Germany, after testifying against Leslie in Manhattan federal court, told The Post by phone he felt “very good” about the verdict. “I’m very happy . . . that the American judicial system, which is so totally different from ours, functioned so well with a jury that are not professionals and are laymen,” he said in German through one his lawyers, Steven Thal. (New York Post)
Despite the ruling, Leslie is looking to appeal in hopes of dodging the mega payout.
Leslie, 34, sat stone-faced as the unanimous verdict was announced after just over three hours of deliberations. Leslie — who had earlier joked he would either “be writing checks or buying Maseratis” — insisted afterward, “I’m not disappointed” and said he would consider an appeal. He also remained unrepentant about his refusal to honor the reward, which he initially set at $20,000, but then increased to $1 million in the YouTube video. “The reasons I defended myself in the case are the same reasons I believe Mr. Augstein is not entitled to the reward,” Leslie said. (New York Post)
Ryan even hopped on his Twitter page to post up an image of the media coverage.
“Don’t believe everything you read in the f*ckin news.” Even though it’s very entertaining! http://instagr.am/p/SnXOtBhWms/,” he tweeted Thursday (November 29) (Ryan Leslie’s Twitter)
The case’s plaintiff officially sued Leslie over the laptop last year.
Armin Augstein said in court filings that he repeatedly tried to reap the reward from the Harlem-based musician after finding the laptop while walking his dog in a Stommelerbusch, Germany, park about a month after the MacBook went missing. Leslie said the computer was swiped from the back of a Mercedes in Cologne on Oct.23, 2010, during a European concert tour. The budding mogul publicized a $20,000 finder’s fee – but then sweetened the reward to $1 million. “It’s unfortunate that my client has to go to such lengths to recover the reward,” said Michael Fischman, Augstein’s U.S.-based lawyer. Augstein, a 52-year-old German, is seeking the $1 million fee plus interest, according to the suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. (New York Daily News)