Antebi Footwear Group LLC CEO Joe Antebi responded exclusively to Footwear News after Paris Hilton Entertainment filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against the shoe company in Manhattan federal court this week.
Hilton is suing Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Antebi for more than $1 million, alleging Antebi failed to honor its 2007 and 2009 license agreements by refusing to hand over 8 percent of its net sales in royalties for her signature shoe line, according to court documents.
“Paris Hilton has made a lot of money with us during our very fruitful six-year-plus relationship,” said Antebi in an email message. “However, on a personal level, I am very hurt by the series of events that have deteriorated this relationship to this point.”
Antebi inked a deal with Hilton in 2007 to market the socialite’s footwear in the U.S. and Canada. In 2009, the company expanded the license to overseas markets.
In addition to monetary damages, Hilton is seeking a court order to terminate the license agreements, which aren’t set to expire until the end of 2014.
“This lawsuit emanates from Antebi’s unlawful attempt to reap millions of dollars in profits from exploiting the lucrative brand of international celebrity Paris Hilton without paying the compensation it agreed to pay,” the lawsuit says.
“Although there is no dispute that Antebi owes substantial sums under its agreement, Antebi refuses to pay, and now outrageously attempts to justify its conduct by fabricating its claims that Paris Hilton Enterprises prejudiced its contract rights,” the court filings added.