The Quezon City regional trial court in the Philippines has ruled that Nadine Lustre’s contract with Viva Artists Agency – that the pop singer said she had “terminated” last year to manage herself – is to be upheld.
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The lawsuit was filed in December last year by Viva, who alleged Lustre breached her contract by operating independently since 2019, despite being under exclusive contract with the talent agency until 2029.
On Monday (June 14), the court ruled that Lustre’s contract with Viva is to be upheld, directing the Careless Music artist to honour her contractual obligations with the talent agency, as ABS-CBN News reported.
According to Viva, the court stated that “the contract between the parties is the law between them and [Lustre] cannot take the law into her own hands and unilaterally terminate her contract”.
Per the court’s ruling, Lustre requires Viva’s consent and participation to enter into or perform contracts for her services as an artist or endorser.
Despite this, Lustre still aims to push through with her upcoming virtual concert ‘Absolute Madness’ on July 3. Per ABS-CBN News, Lustre’s lawyer Lorna Kapunan has said they will file a motion for reconsideration against the cease and desist order within the 15 days they have to do so.
Kapunan also said that ruling is still a “victory” for Lustre, as “Viva was not able to get her hard-earned money during the time of her self-management”. The legal counsel also noted that the contract termination “will have to go through the process of labor arbitration”, and that Judge Jose Paneda had recognised Lustre’s breach of contract did not mean she had intended to “defraud” the agency when she signed to them.
The court also noted that Lustre first signed with Viva in 2009, under the supervision of her parents since she was a minor at the time. In 2014, her contract was extended until 2024, before an additional five-year extension was renewed in 2015, bringing her contract’s end date to 2029.
Lustre’s virtual showcase Absolute Madness, happening on July 3, will feature songs from her latest album ‘Wildest Dreams’ and combine both “theater and concert”, the artist said in an interview with radio station Monster RX 93.1.
Lustre also said that Absolute Madness will serve as a conclusion to this chapter of her career. “We are closing the ‘Wildest Dreams’ book. When you do a concert for an album, it’s usually the end of something,” she said. “But at the same time, I am not sad about it. I am more excited for whatever is about to come.”
Produced by Lustre’s label Careless Music, the concert will be live-streamed on community app Kumu and will feature guest artists James Reid, Massiah and A-Team.