Jay-Z has agreed to sit for a deposition with federal authorities next week as part of their investigation into the 2007 sale of his Rocawear clothing company.
The “Empire State of Mind” star, real name Shawn Carter, was called upon to appear in a New York court on Tuesday to answer questions about the deal he signed with Iconix Brand Group bosses, who purchased the streetwear company for $200 million over a decade ago
The new owners are under investigation for allegedly violating federal securities laws in their financial reporting of Rocawear accounts, and authorities at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) wanted to speak to the rap mogul to find out how much he knew about their business practices.
Jay-Z’s lawyer, Alex Spiro, claimed the hip-hop superstar had already committed to spending one day answering questions for the SEC, but objected to officials’ request to extend the deposition to last for a few extra days, insisting his client was too busy preparing for his summer tour to dedicate more time to the investigation.
The argument was briefly heard by U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe who ruled Jay-Z must testify for at least one full day, noting it would still allow the hitmaker to “go on about his business.”
Lawyers for the SEC do not expect the session to become a multi-day deposition, but the judge made it clear he may order further appearances if necessary.
Both parties agreed to set the testimony for May 15 at an undisclosed location chosen by Jay-Z.
Beyonce’s husband did not show up for the Manhattan hearing. The superstar couple is currently preparing for its massive joint tour, which kicks off in June.