Report: 'American Idol' threatening legal action over Josiah Leming album
By John Bracchitta, 10/30/2008
Josiah Leming can't seem to catch a break.
The former seventh-season American Idol contestant is reportedly being threatened with legal action from Idol producer Simon Fuller's 19 Entertainment if he goes ahead with the release of his debut album, the New York Postreported Thursday.
The threats from 19 Entertainment come only days after the announcement from Warner Bros. Records that Leming's debut album was complete and would be released in January 2009 through Reprise Records.
According to the Post, American Idol requires its contestants -- including those that don't make the season's Top 24 semifinals, apparently -- to sign a contract that gives 19 Entertainment the right to choose a contestant's recording label as well an exclusive right of refusal for management and merchandising deals.
Leming made it to Idol's seven-season Hollywood Week but was eliminated from the show when the judges whittled the competition down to the season's Top 24 semifinalists. Despite the ouster, he was able to land a major label record deal with Warner Bros. Records. only a month after the show's February broadcast of his elimination.
A representative for Leming told the Post that Leming has been "racing the clock" to get his album released while his mother -- who is suffering from terminal cancer -- was still alive to hear it. The representative added that Leming would be moving forward to release his album in January as planned.
"Nothing is going to stop him from getting his music out while she is alive to share it. His album on Warner Records will be released in late January '09," Leming's representative told the Post.
"Josiah was the only Idol contestant ever to get a record deal who didn't make the Top 24, and one of only four contestants to get a deal this year. He has personal reasons for getting his music out, threat or not," the representative added.
While the Post reported that Leming's lawyers had responded to 19 Entertainment, they not received a response from the company yet.