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Tuesday 17 July 2018

Email sent by Rihanna 'destroyed our business in just days', court told

Superstar Rihanna attends a in Leicester Square, London. Photo: Ian West/PA
Superstar Rihanna attends a in Leicester Square, London. Photo: Ian West/PA

An Irish woman is suing international pop star Rihanna, claiming her business was destroyed by a false email and rumours circulated by the singer about her partner.

Dana Kavanagh (43), of Woodbank Drive, Valley Park, Finglas, Dublin, is suing the Barbados-born singer under the name Robyn Fenty, aka Rihanna, with an address in New York, USA.

The case was before the court this week for mention when it was adjourned to next month on consent between the parties to allow Ms Kavanagh to provide an affidavit.

Ms Kavanagh is suing for damages and loss of earnings arising out of what she says is a false and malicious email, sent to her by Rihanna on July 11, 2013, containing untrue references to her partner, Geoffrey Keating (39).

Mr Keating worked for the top selling singer during 2012 and 2013.

Rihanna denies the claims.

Ms Kavanagh says that as a result of Rihanna's claims 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.

STRUGGLING

By December 2013, she says, she and her partner were struggling to keep the business running and the client list was decimated. She contends this was exclusively due to malicious rumours that had emanated from the defendant.

Their business began receiving calls from former clients claiming stories were circulating about allegations.

These are the subject matter of the case being taken over the July 2013 email.

Geoff Keating with the pop superstar Rihanna
Geoff Keating with the pop superstar Rihanna

Ms Kavanagh says Rihanna disseminated the information in that email to third parties, including her (Kavanagh's) sister-in-law, with intent to injure Ms Kavanagh and cause her damage in the course of her business.

She claims that despite years of effort in building up a successful business and brand, it was destroyed in a matter of days by the defendant, and she was receiving social welfare as she had lost her income.

Ms Kavanagh, who has been with Mr Keating for 14 years and with whom she has four children, says the couple had been planning a wedding around the time of the email but it was cancelled as a result of events which gave rise to this case.

TRAUMATIC

She says her life has been a daily struggle and routine events, such as attending a school function, have been upsetting and traumatic because of the accusation.

Ms Kavanagh sees no prospect of the situation improving in the future.

She says the defendant has failed, refused or neglected to retract the allegations or offer an apology.

A separate High Court defamation action over the email, brought by Mr Keating against Rihanna, was discontinued last year.

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