Sunday, November 30, 2008

Is Dame Broke???

Legendary Hip Hop Impresario Dame Dash

Damon Dash: From Record & Fashion Big Shot To Has-Been Mogul

Friday, November 14th 2008

It's not easy being Damon Dash, has-been hip-hop mogul.

The co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records and Rocawear - who in 2005 sold his share in the clothing empire to Jay-Z for $20 million - is under assault in Manhattan Supreme Court from lawyers, lenders and landlords fed up with not getting paid.

The fall has been a dizzying one for Dash, who has gone from owning Keds, a vodka company and 1,300 pairs of shoes to dodging bills and accusing a former accountant of ripping him off for millions of dollars.

"I've worked with musicians, artists and entertainers that in the eyes of the media are very wealthy," said lawyer Jason Gabbard, who represented a fashion firm that settled a suit against Dash and his wife over $148,505 in unpaid fees. "But to borrow a phrase from my Kentucky homeland, they haven't got a pot to p--- in - they're broke."

A Manhattan judge this week ordered the city to seize Dash's Chevrolet Tahoe, since he wasn't making the $714.99 monthly payment on the leased SUV.

That October suit came on the heels of one in August, when Eastern Savings Bank foreclosed on the $7.3 million mortgage for two trendy Tribeca condos where the monthly $78,504.26 bill went unpaid for months.

Dash faces an outstanding $2.1 million tab with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, a $4,500 bill from the state for not paying workers' comp and a suit that says he stiffed the law firm that handled his child-custody case.

Dash even got dumped by another firm representing him in a $3.5 million suit against accountant-to-the-stars Barry Klarberg, who is accused of bungling his tax returns, costing him millions.

"The suit is meritorious and we wish him well with it," said Harry Lipman of Rottenberg Lipman Rich.

Dash's descent into an MC Hammer-like financial abyss is a far cry from 2006, when he boasted about his butler and chef in New York magazine and said he was worth "about $50 million."

Dash, 37, did not respond to interview requests. Spokeswoman Amanda Silverman said in e-mails Dash "won all of his lawsuits."

The record proves otherwise.

Court records show Dash settled two suits accusing him of not paying rent on two Manhattan offices, as well as suits charging he owed big bucks to fashion designer Charlotte Ronson, the fashion firm Showroom Seven and a security company that guards celebs.

"Quite simply, he got behind on his payments and it was necessary to go after him legally," said Mike Zimet, whose Bronx security firm sued Dash in 2005 over an $86,547 tab. "If you do the work, you want to get paid for it."

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