Rita Ora files lawsuit against Jay Z’s record label Roc Nation

The singer says the contract she signed aged 18 'violates California law'

Rita Ora has filed a lawsuit against Jay Z’s Roc Nation alleging that her contract with the label “violates California law and is unenforceable.”

The 25-year-old singer and judge of this year’s X Factor competition joined Roc Nation aged 18.

Today (December 17) she filed a complaint at the Los Angeles Superior Court and according to Billboard described herself as ‘orphaned’ by Roc Nation, which is now developing interests in sports management and Tidal, Jay Z’s streaming service and rival to Spotify and Apple Music.


The complaint reads, “When Rita signed, Roc Nation and its senior executives were very involved with her as an artist. As Roc Nation’s interests diversified, there were fewer resources available and the company suffered a revolving door of executives. Rita’s remaining supporters at the label left or moved on to other activities, to the point where she no longer had a relationship with anyone at the company.”

It also calls Roc Nation a “diminished” record label with “only a handful of admittedly worthy heritage superstar artists.” Ora’s music is still distributed by Sony, even after the label switched distribution partners to Universal in 2013. The complaint says, “Between Sony’s limited economic return from its orphaned relationship with Roc Nation and Sony’s indirect relationship with Rita, Rita is caught in a political quagmire of dysfunction.”

Seven years on from signing to Roc Nation, Ora is using Labour Code (§2855) known as the ‘Seven Year Rule’ to try and leave the label. It was used in 1944 by actress Olivia De Haviland, who managed to employ the rule to part ways with Warner Bros.


Ora was recently burgled, one week before fellow X Factor judge Simon Cowell, with police investigating the possibility that the crimes are linked.

The Sun reported on December 12 that Ora’s six-bedroom semi-detached house in north-west London, worth £1.3m, was burgled just seven days before Cowell’s home was targeted by thieves. Cowell lives less than four miles away from Ora.

Cash and personal items worth thousands taken while one of her relatives slept upstairs. The Metropolitan Police have confirmed that “one strand of the investigation” is that the burglaries are linked and that the burglars may have had “inside knowledge” prior to the crime.


A source told The Sun: “Thankfully Rita wasn’t home at the time, but a family member was sleeping upstairs so it could have been so much worse if they had been disturbed. They called the police who arrived after 5am after they found that cash, jewellery and electrical goods had been stolen.”

“The police have told Rita she needs to look seriously into the possibility that this was an inside job and could be connected to a number of burglaries in the area, including the one at Simon’s home.”

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “Police in Brent were called to an address at 5.54 on Saturday, November 28, to reports of a burglary. An investigation is under way. No arrests have been made.”

Cowell has had intruders in his home before and a woman was arrested in 2012 after being discovered inside a walk-in wardrobe. Leanne Zaloumis was given a community order after admitting smashing a window at his home with a broken brick.