The widow and estate of The Roots bassist Leonard Hubbard has sued the band’s co-founders Questlove and Black Thought for fraud.
The lawsuit alleges that Questlove and Black Thought violated RICO laws and defrauded Hubbard out of millions.
According to Rolling Stone, the complaint alleges that Questlove, whose real name is Ahmir Thompson, Black Thought, real name Tariq Trotter, the Roots manager Shawn Gee and band employee Munir Nuriddin “are advancing a continuing scheme to defraud” the estate and Hubbard’s widow Stephanie of money.
The suit also names Live Nation Entertainment, Universal Music Publishing Group, and other companies that are associated with the band’s businesses.
Hubbard first joined Questlove and Black Thought in an early iteration of the Roots, then called the Square Roots. He remained with the group from 1992 through 2007, departing after being diagnosed with blood cancer. Hubbard died of the cancer in 2021.
In 1993, the Roots members formed Grand Negaz, Inc., a corporate entity it used for the group’s business dealings, with Thompson and Trotter each becoming 37 percent stakeholders and member Malik Smart and Hubbard 17 percent each, according to the suit.
Hubbard was also granted 25 percent in an entity that handles the group’s recording and publishing, and a 33 percent stake in the band’s touring performance company.
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