Luciano Apologizes For False Claim That Lawyer 'Tricked' Him Into Signing Four Album Contract

Reggae star Luciano has apologized to Lloyd Stanbury after mistakenly accusing the entertainment attorney of ‘tricking’ him into signing a four-album contract with VP Records over two decades ago.

Last month, the It’s Me Again Jah singer heavily criticized Stanbury during an interview with I Never Knew TV, in which he admitted that he didn’t read the contract before signing due to his busy schedule at the time and his belief that he was in “good hands” due to Stanbury being a “Rasta.” However, in the same breath, he blamed Stanbury — who he mistakenly thought was representing VP — for letting him sign for more albums than he intended.

On Wednesday, Stanbury refuted the claims on Instagram, asserting that he never represented Luciano or VP Records, nor did he advise the singer to sign without reading. He clarified that his role was limited to providing a Kingston venue for Luciano to sign the contract he had negotiated himself with the company.

The lawyer cautioned that Luciano might face legal repercussions for defamation in the Supreme Court of Jamaica.

Lloyd Stanbury

In a video statement on Thursday, Luciano admitted his error and affirmed that Stanbury was not responsible for drafting or legally representing him nor VP in the 2001 contract but simply provided a space for the signing.

Looking directly into the camera, Luciano expressed his contrition with the following words:

“Greetings and salutations to all my fans out there, members of the music fraternity and the reggae industry. You may have seen a video recently where I am burning out Mr. Stanbury, calling him wicked and saying that lightning should strike him and all these things. He has explained to me that he had not acted in the capacity as VP’s lawyer, nor was he representing me legally, and he was not the one who constructed that contract. He was only facilitating the signing of the contract at his office.”

“So I stand corrected Mr. Stanbury and I apologize greatly sir, please accept my humble apology,” he added.

He also appealed to his fan base for understanding as he navigated the situation. “All my fans out there please bear with me as I try to understand what took place. I had the intention to do one album for VP and I ended up binding myself in a four-album deal.”

VP first connected with Luciano for the albums One Way Ticket (1994) and After All (1995), before he left for Island Records.

He returned to the record company for the album A New Day (2001), which was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album. It was followed by the albums Serve Jah (2003), Serious Times (2004), Child Of A King (2006), Jah Is My Navigator (2008), and United States Of Africa (2010), all released under VP.

“When I did the album New Day, for VP, produced by Mr Dean Frazer, it was a one-album deal.  That’s what I knew about…I got the call from VP that I need to sign the contract, because they can’t put out the album until I sign the contract,” Luciano had told I Never Know TV.

“So I was always busy like I am today.  I couldn’t get to go directly into the office and sign it.  So I was instructed that I should go to Mr Lloyd Stanbury at his office, that this man would be the lawyer – he is the lawyer that represented VP,” he recalled.

Stanbury noted on Wednesday that he was a neutral party to the signing. “I was in his presence when he signed. I was not representing either Luciano or VP Records. Nor did I draft or negotiate or required to read the contract,” he explained.

“My office was merely used as a convenient location in Kingston for Luciano to come in and sign a contract he received and negotiated himself with VP. He was required to sign the contract so that VP could release the album and/or disburse money to Luciano. I was never and have never been VP’s attorney. I have never been Luciano’s attorney either.”

But, according to the Jah Blessing singer, he initially had misgivings about not reading the contract, but seeing that Stanbury was there, he threw caution to the wind.

“So when I walk into this office – the lawyer’s office, I said to miself seh. ‘honestly when I see a Rasta –  caw when growin up I know Rasta supposed to be a true representative of God and an image of the Almighty – Suh when I see a Rasta, mi drop mi guard, and seh ‘yes, from a Rasta, mi good man,’” Luciano explained.

“And mi seh to di lawyer seh Mr Stanbury, tell mi suppm – caw mi frighten when mi go in an si seh a him represent VP enuh.  Suppm jolt mi, but mi neva teck heed, but mi still went ahead, becaw choo mi si seh a Rasta represent, mi seh ‘alright, it look like mi in good hands.’”

“So mi seh Mr Lloyd, yuh think I have to read this?  Yuh think I can trust this contract man?   And mi ask him seh: ‘yuh sure mi can go ahead and sign, I am not making any mistake with mi life here man?   An him a seh ‘no its good man.  Its OK, its OK’.  But that is what he was paid for,” Luciano added.

In continuing his diatribe against Stanbury, Luciano said that further evidence that he was duped into signing a four-album deal was that VP Records had not sent him a huge advance.

“Is a shame and a disgrace, caw some a dem men deh seh dem have on locks, an mi a tell yuh.  A choo Jah nuh stay like man, because lightning suppose to lick some a dem really.  Lightning fi lick dem.  Caw dem a meck mi a sign a contract wid a four-album deal.  How yuh a guh sign a contract now wid dem – four-album deal and VP nuh sen a big fat piece a money to mi account den?” he mused.

“If yuh a sign a album, even if a one album, yuh supposed to give mi a piece a food – properly inna mi account and meck mi feel good and know seh mi produce di album and put it out deh.  But four albums?  An yuh only pay mi fi one album?  An mi a sign big four-album deal?  Dem wicked mi a tell yuh,” he continued.

Added the singer: “An now through dem sen Mista Lloyd Stanbury, as a Rasta, mi drop mi guard, an mi run guh sign. Neva ene know she is a four-album deal, contract di man meck mi sign.  It suppose to be a one-album.”

Luciano admitted that he was ultimately culpable, as he ought to have sought the advice of his own attorney.

“You know when I should have done?  I should have taken that contract and carried it to my lawyer, an meck mi lawyer fine-proof, fine-tune it and .. go through and proof-read – that’s the word I looking fa, proof-read it and guh through di  fine line becaw a inna di fine line dem trick yuh enuh. Caw sometime yuh a read an a go through some fine print, like yuh a seh, ‘mi naw badda’, yuh jus skip ova dat.  But a inna di fine print dem grab mi,” he said with a sigh. 

Update: Stanbury told DancehallMag on Thursday that he has accepted Luciano’s apology.

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