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Paulina Rubio headed to trial after being sued for cancelled Colombian concert

Paulina Rubio
Paulina Rubio
Getty Images

Paulina Rubio is headed for a showdown in court over a breach-of-contract lawsuit that alleges that she caused the cancellation of one of her concerts in Tunja, Colombia, on Aug. 31, 2010, because she failed to show up for the concert. On Nov. 24, 2010, the lawsuit was filed against Rubio in Miami-Dade County's 11th Judicial Circuit Court in Florida, since at least two of the plaintiffs live or have business in Miami-Dade County, Rubio has a home in Miami, and the contract was signed in Miami. The case has a Florida trial date set for March 6, 2014.

The plaintiffs in this case are concert promoter Carlos Gutierrez, his company CMG and Colombian event companies Fondo and CVM

According to the lawsuit, Rubio acted unprofessionally in her contractual commitment to do the concert, which the plaintiffs say was sponsored by the Colombian government to celebrate the election of Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos. Several other dignitaries, including Santos, the governor and mayor of Tunja were expected to attend the concert. The concert attendance was expected to be about 30,000 people. The concert was free to attendees, the concert had several expenses, including advertising, promotion, as well as transportation and accommodations for Rubio, her band, her entourage and several dignitaries.

Although Rubio performed two other August 2010 concerts in Colombia (in Bogota and Medellin) without any problems, it was the concert in Tunja that was problematic.

The plaintiffs say that Rubio had agreed to perform the concerts in Bogota and Tunja for $100,000 for both concerts (presumably $50,000 for each concert) and an additional $60,000 for the concert in Medellin. The contract also stated that the plaintiffs would provide air transportation from Medellin to Bogota, and then ground transportation from Bogota to Tunja, for Rubio and her entourage of about 22 people.

But then, Rubio started acting like an unprofessional diva, according to the plaintiffs. First, she allegedly refused to fly with her band and entourage to Bogota and opted to stay in the presidential penthouse suite in Medellin, because the plaintiffs say that Rubio stated that the accommodations in Medellin were more fitting for her than the accommodation she would be getting in Tunja.

The plaintiffs say that Rubio then tried to get the plaintiffs to pay for a private plane to take her from Medellin to Tunja, but the plaintiffs refused, since the contract stated that the plaintiffs would only provide ground transportation from Medellin to Tunja. Rubio then "made her own arrangements to fly to Tunja via private plane," according to the lawsuit.

When Rubio arrived at the Medellin airport "several hours late" (allegedly) she and the pilot were told that it was not legal to fly directly to Tunja at that time because of aeronautical and military restrictions. The lawsuit claims that Rubio bribed the pilot $5,000 to attempt to fly to Tunja anyway. The plane attempted to make the flight but had to turn back after being warned by officials that the flight was violating the law and the plane was at risk of being shot down by the military.

Rubio then allegedly tried to no avail to have the officials make an exception for her. When that didn't work, Rubio then sent an email to Gutierrez claiming that she couldn't make it to the Tunja concert because of bad weather, which the plaintiffs claim was a lie that Rubio told to try to get out of performing the concert. The plaintiffs allege that they offered ground transportation to Rubio so that she could be there for the concert in Tunja, but she refused. She never showed up for the concert, which had to be cancelled.

Rubio had no comment about this lawsuit or the trial.

This lawsuit is one of several legal conflicts that Rubio has been involved in, in recent years.

  • Rubio is suing Telemundo in a breach-of-contract lawsuit that alleges that Telemundo backed out of a $1.3 million deal to renew her contract as a judge for the second season of "La Voz Kids" ("The Voice Kids"). According to The Hollywood Reporter, the lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Jan. 13, 2014. The lawsuit claims that Telemundo unfairly decided to replace Rubio with a judge (Natalia Jiménez) who could be hired for a lower salary. Roberto Tapia and Prince Royce will continue to be judges on "La Voz Kids" for the show's second season in 2014.
  • In 2013, Rubio was in a nasty custody battle with her estranged husband Nicolás "Colate" Vallejo-Nágera over their 3-year-old son, Andrea Nicolás. Rubio and Vallejo-Nágera have been accusing each other of being unfit parents.
  • In May 2013, paparazzi photographer Hector Vela filed a $75,000 lawsuit against Rubio, claiming that she assaulted him (by kicking him in the groin) and stole his camera after he asked to take her picture at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. The lawsuit came less than a year after Rubio's former personal assistant Felipe Restrepo Betancur filed a lawsuit in 2012, alleging she punched, kicked and slapped him because he booked her an airplane flight in coach class instead of first class.
  • Gossip Extra reported that Rubio was facing foreclosure for unpaid fees for her Miami condo. As of October 2013, Rubio owed more than $30,000 in fees, interest and penalties on the condo, according to legal paperwork filed by the condo's homeowner board.

Rubio became a judge on Fox's "The X Factor" U.S. in 2013. Her work schedule for "The X Factor" appears to be a contentious issue in her lawsuit against Telemundo. Rubio's representatives claim that Telemundo is using Rubio's "X Factor" schedule as an excuse for why Rubio's "La Voz Kids" contract was not renewed, and her representatives claim that they had informed Telemundo that Rubio's "X Factor" schedule would not be in conflict with her duties on "La Voz Kids."

According to the lawsuit, Telemundo terminated negotiations in Dec. 23, 2013. On Dec. 24, 2013, Rubio's litigation attorney Howard King "demanded that Telemundo tender the $1.325 million payment. The response came 10 days later, when Telemundo denied there was any binding agreement," according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Rubio also may be out of a job on "The X Factor" U.S. if the show is renewed for a fourth season in 2014. In a December 2013 conference call with reporters, "X Factor" executive producer Simon Cowell said he wants an all-new judging panel for the show if it is renewed in 2014.

Rubio has also received an avalanche of complaints from "X Factor" viewers who say they dislike Rubio on the show because they think she is a horrible judge who is ditsy, inarticulate and a bad decision maker.

Demi Lovato, who also got a lot of complaints from "X Factor" viewers, left the show at the end of its third season in December 2013 because Lovato says she wants to focus on her music career.

Kelly Rowland, who joined "The X Factor" U.S. judging panel in 2013, has told the media that she does not know yet if she is returning to the show but that she would if she is asked.

As for Cowell, various sources are saying that he is returning to "The X Factor" U.K. judging panel to fill the spot vacated by Gary Barlow. If Fox renews "The X Factor" U.S. for a fourth season in 2014, Cowell hinted that his role on the show will be different.

Fox is expected to officially announce in May 2014 if "The X Factor" U.S. is getting renewed for a fourth season or has been cancelled.

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