Those hoping to see The Pussycat Dolls back on tour might need to wait a minute. Founder Robin Antin is suing singer Nicole Scherzinger for allegedly "refusing" to perform in the reunion tour despite an agreement in 2019.
In the lawsuit obtained by E! News, Antin says she spent two years negotiating with Scherzinger over the relaunch and, in 2017, received $600,000 from Live Nation that hinged on Scherzinger agreeing to perform in the reunion tour.
According to the suit, the pair came to an agreement, dubbed the Memorandum of Understanding, in February 2019 that Scherzinger would be an "active partner" and perform in a reunion tour, including up to 45 live performances expected to start in December 2019. The breakout star would receive 49 percent of the shares and profits of a new Pussycat Dolls business, PCD Worldwide, according to the lawsuit. Antin would get the other 51 percent.
However, the coronavirus pandemic changed their plans.
"Before the originally scheduled dates of the tour, a once-in-a-century global pandemic halted music touring activity," the lawsuit states. They had "no other option than to indefinitely postpone the tour until it became safe and economically viable to reschedule."
It was initially rescheduled to May and June 2021 in Europe, but later rescheduled again.
In April 2021, Scherzinger offered new terms of the agreement, requesting to become the owner of 75 percent of PCD Worldwide, get "complete creative control" and become the "final decision-making authority," per the complaint.
The reason behind the new terms? The lawsuit states she cited "the growth of her personal brand and the opportunities she would have to forego" in order to continue with the partnership. However, Antin's team says she was "already contractually obligated to be an ‘active partner' under the terms of the MOU."
In May 2021, The Masked Singer judge "expressly stated" she would not join the reunion tour and "refuses to participate," the lawsuit states.
The debacle has caused a headache for tour promoters, agents, merchandising companies and others involved, according to the lawsuit.
"Tour dates were planned but are unable to be confirmed because of Scherzinger's extortion," it reads, stating that Live Nation has demanded the return of its $600,000 investment.
Antin wants to be awarded damages, including all profits lost as a result of Scherzinger refusing to perform. The choreographer is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, as well as equitable relief due to Scherzinger's alleged breach and tortious conduct. She demands a trial by jury.
Although Antin says she and Scherzinger agreed on the MOU in February 2019, Scherzinger told E! News in October 2019 that she could not confirm "rumors" about The Pussycat Dolls' upcoming reunion.
"I've heard about those rumors as well," the Moana actress said at the time. "I love my girls, I miss touring with them, we had the best times together. But I can't confirm anything right now."
She said she was "so busy" doing other shows and getting back in the recording studio, but noted she "wouldn't rule" out a reunion.
The girl group (also comprised of Ashley Roberts, Kimberly Wyatt, Jessica Sutta, Carmit Bachar and Melody Thornton) got back together the next year to release new music, sans Thornton. In February 2020, they dropped the song "React," marking their first single since going on hiatus in 2010.
It now appears that plans for the concerts are on hold. When asked for comment by E! News, Antin's attorney Richard Busch pointed to the lawsuit: "Everything we have to say at this time is set out in detail in the Complaint."
E! News reached out to Scherzinger's rep but did not hear back. Her legal representation didn't immediately have comment when contacted by The Hollywood Reporter on Sept. 3.