Cue the jokes about “wigging out” and “wig wars”. Nicki Minaj is gearing up for a legal battle over her eye-catching hair.
The rapper is being sued by her former “wig guru” Terrence Davidson, according to Time. Davidson filed suit Friday, claiming Minaj stole wig designs he personalized for her, and then sold and licensed them without giving him a cut of the profits.
“I see these wigs online,” said Davidson, who has also worked with others in the industry, including singers Patti LaBelle and rapper Remy Ma. “People are basically duplicating what I created for Nicki Minaj.”
Davidson’s suing now because there are Minaj-branded wigs on sale on her own website, and Davidson wants a cut of the profits.
“Nicki Minaj is reaping great success and financial bounty reward for Terrence’s creative expertise, and he is entitled to participate in that,” his lawyer said. “Someone’s got to stand up for the artist. We applaud the fact that she’s making millions, but she’s also got to pay bounty to those whose creative designs she’s making millions off of.”
In his suit, Davidson says he designed several wigs for Minaj, including the “Pink Upper Bun Wig,” the “Fox Fur Wig,” and the “Half Blonde-Half Pink Wig” that she wore in appearances, including the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards preshow. He says there were plans for he and Minaj to launch a wig line and discussions about a possible reality show.
The two began working together in 2010, before the release of Pink Friday. In the lawsuit, which Time has obtained, lawyers for Davidson claim he created “fresh, hip, and unique wigs” that “significantly contributed to Minaj’s unsurpassed notoriety for her wigs.” Davidson claims the two had plans to create a wig line together, but by 2012 he was beginning to get phased out of Team Minaj, and he quit in January 2013.
This comes on the heels of Nicki receiving bad press over the art for her new single “Lookin Ass N*ggas” which portrays Malcolm X with a gun looking out a window. Malcom X’s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz released a statement to the Associated Press, saying that the photo was “in no way is endorsed by our family. Ms. Minaj’s artwork for her single does not depict the truth of Malcolm X’s legacy.”