Flo Rida has emerged victorious in his $82.6 million breach-of-contract lawsuit against the energy drink company Celsius.
A jury in Broward County, Florida sided with the rapper — real name Tramar Lacel Dillard — who accused Celsius of not paying him the stock options and bonuses he was allegedly owed if the company hit certain sales markers. Specifically, Dillard was after the 1 percent ownership stake in the company that he said he was promised as part of the deal.
In a statement shared with Rolling Stone, Dillard celebrated the victory, saying, “From the start, I only wanted what I worked for, nothing more, nothing less. I was instrumental in the Celsius that you know and love today. When this journey began no one knew Celsius. I took Celsius all over the world through my videos, concerts, appearances, and social media. I have gained a new respect for the judicial system. God bless America.”
(Dillard also spoke with reporters outside the courthouse after the jury ruled in his favor — during which he drank a Celsius.)
Dillard’s lawyer, John Uustal, added, “There were complicated legal issues in this case. We said we’d trust the jury to do the right thing, we’d trust the verdict, accept the decision of the jury. And it’s amazing how detailed the jury verdict was, how they filled out a complicated and extensive jury verdict in such a way that made it clear beyond any doubt that they understood all the most difficult issues in the case, and resolved them.”
Lawyers for Celsius did not immediately return Rolling Stone’s request for comment. The company will, however, be able to appeal the ruling.
Dillard and Celsius first partnered in 2014, the parties renewed their agreement in 2016, and the deal finally wrapped in 2018. The lawsuit, however, wasn’t filed until 2021, with Dillard claiming he wasn’t aware Celsius was withholding stock and royalties from him because the company was successfully concealing this information from him. During the case, Celsius’ lawyers tried to counter that there hadn’t been any sales markers met, and that Dillard had been paid “far in excess” of what he was owed for the deal (via Law & Crime).