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Filmmaker Hits Tyrese Gibson With a $10M Defamation Lawsuit After ‘Breakfast Club’ Interview

R&B singer-turned-blockbuster movie star Tyrese Gibson has been hit with an eight-figure lawsuit stemming from comments he made during his most recent interview on “The Breakfast Club.” A movie director is suing the Watts native for accusing him of doing bad business and thus maligning his “character and reputation.”

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 30: Tyrese Gibson attends the “Morbius” Fan Special Screening at Cinemark Playa Vista and XD on March 30, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Director Bryan Barber, who is best known for the movie “Idlewild” starring the rap group OutKast, filed the lawsuit after the Sept. 7 interview, according to The Blast,” alleging that Gibson weaponized the platform and called him a thief.

“Barber took Gibson’s [interview] footage and refused to give it back; Gibson paid [Barber] $35,000.00 total to film the interview footage; and Barber also stole footage from two other public figures – Big Boi and Dallas Austin,” the complaint says the Transformer star alleged in his sharing of details on the show.

That is not what Barber and his legal team say happened.

Lawsuit Back

According to the filmmaker, Gibson hired him through his company Pivot Originals in 2019 to bring in his camera crew, lights and other equipment to film and edit an interview he had with Charlamagne Tha God, Gibson’s ex-wife Samantha Lee and himself.

The filming was to happen over one day, and Barber would participate in the profit of the video once released.

The claim states they agreed they “would split (on a 50/50 basis) the revenue derived from the streaming and/or other distribution.”

Barber asserts that Gibson not only wanted to do another day of filming, which would give him “‘B-Roll’ footage of Gibson spending time with his wife and their newborn daughter,” but says the actor’s management told him to not release any part of the interview with Charlamagne, in a radical reversal from his original directive.  

“Gibson refused to adhere to the previous 50/50 revenue split that he and Barber previously negotiated for the CTG Interview,” the lawsuit states, adding that during the interview with “The Breakfast Club” the “Baby Boy” star claimed that Barker was holding the footage hostage and would not release it, even after he spent $35,000 on its production.

The director believes those remarks are defamatory and could impede the success of Pivot Originals, which relies greatly on “establishing and maintaining trust with original content creators.” 

Pivot Originals is a foray into streaming and production. It is a departure from his past work which also included numerous music videos, according to IMDB, for artists like Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Mary J. Blige, Dr. Dre, Kanye West, Janet Jackson and Wiz Khalifa.

Barber also is the visionary behind two of OutKast’s most visually stimulating music videos, “Hey Ya!” and “The Way You Move.”

Should Gibson, who has an estimated net worth of $4 million, be found guilty, he could be responsible for dishing out $10 million to Barber — a judgment that would leave him in financial ruin.

Gibson’s Tangled Finances

Much of the actor’s biggest gripe in the media is about how much money he has going out in child support, versus money he has coming in from projects and investments.

He said once on social media that a Fulton County judge ordered him to pay more than $230,000 in back child support and $399,000 in legal fees that his ex-wife, Samantha Lee, acquired during their two-year divorce. 

Tyrese now pays his estranged wife $10,690 per month in child support for their 5-year-old daughter, Soraya Lee, and maintains a life insurance plan of $1.9 million, with the young girl as the beneficiary and ex-wife as the trustee.

He is also paying the same amount in child support for his teenage daughter Shayla from his first marriage.

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