Wednesday 20 February 2019

Rihanna tries to get lawsuit over emails thrown out of court here

Rihanna with ex-head of security Geoffrey Keating
Rihanna with ex-head of security Geoffrey Keating

Singer Rihanna is challenging High Court proceedings brought against her by an Irish woman over the star's alleged circulation of "malicious falsehoods".

Dana Kavanagh (43), of Woodbank Drive, Valley Park, Finglas, is suing the Barbados-born singer under her real name, Robyn Fenty.

Ms Kavanagh claims she was caused mental distress and emotional suffering as a result of what she says was a false and malicious email sent on July 11, 2013, about her husband Geoffrey Keating who was Rihanna's head of security in 2012 and 2013

She is also suing over a phone call that the singer allegedly made to Ms Kavanagh's sister-in-law.

She claims that as a result of the allegations, a business she built up with Mr Keating, called Geoff Keating Media, had to cease trading.

She says it had a client list of more than 5,000 - 95pc of whom were female, and it attracted other high-profile celebrities.

Rihanna has denied the claims.

Yesterday, her Irish lawyers asked Ms Justice Miriam O'Regan to set aside the purported service of proceedings on the singer's New York home because it was not in accordance with law.

Ms Kavanagh's counsel said the singer was looking for the assistance of the court in seeking to obstruct his client in bringing proceedings here.

Kelley Smith, for Rihanna, said service of the papers was invalid because it was not done in accordance with the Hague Convention or in accordance with New York State and US federal law.

Ms Smith said it was claimed by the Kavanagh side that a process server employed by PrecisionOne Inc, a licensed and bonded summons-serving company in New York, called at Rihanna's Lafayette Street apartment in November 2015 and again in October 2016.

Counsel said the papers server said in an affidavit that he confirmed with the apartment concierge that Rihanna was not on active military service but the concierge refused to give his name or give permission to the server to access her apartment itself.

The boss of PrecisionOne swore an affidavit saying it is not easy to serve papers on Rihanna because wherever she travelled she was surrounded by bodyguards.

Ms Smith said not only was the first purported service, in November 2015, defective under law, it was done before proceedings were actually issued in the central office of the Irish High Court in December 2015.


There was a second attempt at service in October 2016 when it was suggested papers were left with the concierge and also sent to Rihanna's management and US lawyers but this was still not done in accordance with law, said Ms Smith.

Barney Quirke, for Ms Kavanagh, said the summons server had tried four times to serve the papers. On two occasions, he was not allowed to leave the papers at the apartment building but was on two others.

"There is no merit whatsoever in this application which is brutally unfair to my client."

He said the defendant had never challenged the jurisdiction of the Irish court to deal with this case. This was "a straight-up attempt" to evade service of the papers, he said.

The case continues.

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