LOS ANGELES (CN) - Danish pop star Aura Dione claims in court that her former manager tried to steal the rights to her hit album "Before the Dinosaurs."
The singer-songwriter, whose real name is Maria Louise Joensen, sued Khalid Schroeder and KS+P Kool Management in Superior Court. She claims they persuaded her to replace her then-manager in 2010 by falsely touting connections in Germany and around the world that would purportedly advance her career.
She says they "used their positions of trust to induce Ms. Dione, under false pretenses, to enter into various contractual arrangements - not for the purpose of promoting her career, but rather to exploit Ms. Dione's name and music for their own pecuniary gain."
Dione claims she had a 2007 contract with Danish label Music for Dreams that granted it the master rights to her first three albums, including "Before the Dinosaurs." Music for Dreams then struck licensing deals with Universal Music and others, according to the lawsuit.
In 2011, Dioned says Schroeder and Kool Management advised her to withdraw from that agreement, falsely claiming it would give her more money and more control over her music.
They allegedly promised to set up her own record label called Cherry Juice Records, and claimed that all rights to her music would revert back to Dione or the new label.
But they never established Cherry Juice Records as a legal entity, and as a result, Universal Music refused to let Music for Dreams assign its rights to Dione, the lawsuit claims.
Dione says they did this on purpose, knowing that she would be forced to instead transfer her rights to Kool Management, which was a legal entity.
"Defendants wasted no time in implementing the remainder of their scheme," Dione claims.
They negotiated a more expansive deal with Universal Music that included the release of Dione's music in new territories, including the United Kingdom, plus override royalties in the United States, according to the lawsuit.
Dione says she wasn't happy with the new deal, but Schroeder executed it, anyway. She claims she has yet to see any profits from Universal Music's licensing of "Before the Dinosaurs," which was recorded in Los Angeles.
"In addition to the illegal usurpation of her music rights, including the theft of earnings resulting from exploitation of those rights, defendants' false representations as to their purported rights in Ms. Dione's music have made it impossible for Ms. Dione to continue to advance her career," the lawsuit states.
Producers, promoters "and a multitude of others" are refusing to license the singer's music until the ownership dispute is resolved, Dione claims.
Some of her singles, including "Friends" and "Geronimo," have topped charts in Denmark, Germany and Austria. She has released two albums to date: "Columbine" in 2010 and "Before the Dinosaurs" in 2011.
Dione's lawsuit alleges fraud, negligent misrepresentation, intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, unjust enrichment. She also seeks a declaration that she owns the master rights to "Before the Dinosaurs."
Her attorney is Lance Etcheverry with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in Los Angeles.