Cardi B has responded to her former manager's $10 million lawsuit with an even larger countersuit. In court documents filed Thursday (July 5), the "I Like It" rapper accuses Shaft (born Klenord Raphael) of deceitful and exploitative business practices, and claims damages of over $15 million.
Shaft, who started managing Cardi in 2015, sued her in April for breach of contract and defamation, among other claims, after she left him to sign with Quality Control's management division in March. In the suit, Shaft takes credit for the Bronx entertainer's casting on Love & Hip Hop: New York, her song "Bodak Yellow," and accuses Bardi of freezing him out. In her countersuit, Cardi accuses the manager of various forms of mismanagement and swindling. "Shaft proved increasingly willing to take advantage of, deceive and exploit Ms. Almanzar, and he had the ability to do so through complete control over all legal documents and virtually every dollar that Ms. Almanzar earned in the entertainment business," says the suit. The most egregious claim asserts that Shaft, having established a 20 percent commission rate, ultimately demanded 50 percent of her royalties from her publishing deal with Atlantic Records. The documents also accuse Shaft of attempting to control Cardi's dating life, as well as negligence for failing to maintain organized and reliable accounting spreadsheets. It largely echoes previous reports that Cardi believed her ex-manager was stealing money. The legal battle has failed to slow down the rapper's rising star. Cardi's major label debut Invasion of Privacy debuted at No. 1, and its song "I Like It" just made her the second female rapper in history with two Hot 100-topping singles. You can read the full countersuit over at Variety.