Monday, August 15, 2011 1:45 PM PT
Label Claims Artist Defamed it on Twitter

     LOS ANGELES (CN) - Former New Edition frontman Johnny Gill falsely accused his record label of leaking a song from his forthcoming album and called the label's CEO "fucking nuts" on Twitter, according to a Superior Court lawsuit.
     Notifi Records CEO Ira DeWitt claims Gill accused her on Twitter of personally leaking the song because she had a side deal with the song's producer, for whom he claimed she had a "hard on."
     Gill gained notoriety when he replaced front man Bobby Brown in the R&B group New Edition in 1988, and had recently signed with Notifi for a recording deal. Through Twitter, Gill alleged DeWitt, wife of St. Louis Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt, used another singer to fill in missing vocals and passed the song off as a finished product, according to the complaint. DeWitt says Gill made a slurry of remarks through the Twitter account handle "RealJohnnyGill" that were aimed at damaging her reputation.
     Gill allegedly accused DeWitt of creating a fake Twitter page to promote the leaked recording, of hiring another singer to finish the vocals for the song and passing it off as if it were actually finished by Gill. Gill claimed the record deal allowed him to choose which recordings will be released to the public as singles, as opposed to being released as part of an album.
     He also announced that Plaintiffs' most recent recording artist ran away from them, that Notifi is a fake company, that DeWitt is deranged," the lawsuit stated.
     DeWitt is suing for libel and seeks punitive damages, plus an injunction to keep Gill from making any further harmful statements about her on Twitter. She adds that Gill knew the accusations were false, but nonetheless made them with the intent to do irreparable harm.
     DeWitt says the accusations were published with malice and that Gill knew his statements were untrue.
     Gill's claims were defamatory because they "charge DeWitt with criminal, improper and immoral conduct" ... "subject DeWitt to hatred, contempt, ridicule and obloguy ... and "injure DeWitt in her trade and business by imputing to her a lack of integrity and professionalism that has a natural tendency to lessen her ability to conduct business in the music producing industry," the lawsuit states.
     Aaron Morris and Deanna Stone Killeen of the Tustin, Calif. law firm Morris & Stone are representing DeWitt.