Dick Clark files $10 million suit against Recording Academy president

Wednesday, December 19th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) _ Dick Clark filed a $10 million lawsuit against Recording Academy President Michael Greene Wednesday, accusing him of barring artists who appear first on Clark's American Music Awards from performing on the Grammy Awards.

A visibly angry Clark said Greene persuaded Michael Jackson to break a promise to appear in the upcoming American Music Awards show on Jan. 9. The Grammys air on Feb. 27.

``Mr. Greene has caused me a lot of pain and a lot of stress,'' Clark said. ``I've known Michael Jackson since he was a kid. ... To have another party interfere in that relationship makes me very, very angry.''

Jackson publicist Dan Forman didn't immediately return a voicemail message. Academy spokesman Ron Roker and spokeswoman Maureen O'Connor didn't immediately return telephone calls seeking comment from Greene.

In past years, Clark said Greene was responsible for preventing Britney Spears from appearing on the American Music Awards and banned Sean ``P. Diddy'' Combs and Toni Braxton from performing on the Grammys because they appeared on the AMAs.

In the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Clark accused Greene and 10 unnamed defendants of interfering with contracts and prospective business relations, and unfair competition.

Besides damages, Clark wants the alleged blacklisting tactics rescinded. Clark said he didn't sue the Recording Academy because he doesn't believe the general membership approves of Greene's tactics.

Clark said he had spoken with Greene about the issue in the past and had received assurances it wouldn't occur again.

Clark said he was compiling a list of all performers forced to back out of the American Music Awards or the Grammy Awards in past years because of the alleged tactics.

The Grammys are considered the more prestigious of the two awards; the Grammy winners are determined by members of the Recording Academy, while winners at the American Music Awards are based on popularity.