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Thu Aug 7, 2014, 07:28 PM

Singer sued for being too mediocre and unattractive for Pink cover band

Last edited Thu Sep 17, 2015, 03:11 PM - Edit history (11)

New York Post:...Collette McLafferty, a 40-year-old singer, has been slapped with a $10 million lawsuit by Charles Bonfante, who whines that her lack of sex appeal and talent ruined his big plan to start Long Island’s first Pink cover act.

Bonfante — a lawyer who brags...about drumming on tour for Michael Bolton and...'80s glam-metal band Saraya — says...that McLafferty and the other band members are “subpar” musicians...McLafferty was "a mediocre vocalist at best..." And as for her look, he claimed: “She didn’t look the part, or at least contribute to the overall aesthetics of the band.”

...He told his collaborator, Rik Nevone, he did not want (them) in the act. But when Nevone went ahead with her at a small gig on Long Island under the name Funhouse — after Pink’s fifth album — Bonfante filed the suit against the members of the act for allegedly ruining his Pink band scheme...

McLafferty — who...fronts a band called edibleRed — says she never heard of Bonfante before the suit...(She)...was paid only $75 for the gig...“The really insulting part is he said I would harm the public because I can’t sing and I’m too unattractive to front this kind of a band,” she told The Post..."I get to fight this for the next two years, according to my lawyer...I’m going to be broke, and he’s going to have a hobby.” She has filed a countersuit, seeking to have Bonfante’s claim quashed and recoup damages...

If Bonfante is of the opinion that Nevone ran off with and permanently ruined his idea, that's one thing. But his filing against the rest of the cover band (but not the drummer who replaced him!) borders on judicial malpractice -- you'd think a lawyer would realize that his opinion of the band is completely irrelevant.

Even worse, I think Collette is being exploited in another way.

She's not the only one being sued -- indeed, it's Rik Nevone who should be the "star" of this drama. But I suppose it makes for a "better" story to make Colette's "ugliness" the primary focus. From her crowdfunding page:

Unfortunately, despite the serious allegations, the press focused on the fact that the lawsuit stated I was "too unattractive" to front this type of band. The NY Post reported I was being sued for being "too old and too ugly" for the band. That is the story that made the news. One headline referred to me as a "bad, ugly singer". Sued for being too old and too ugly for P!NK tribute band!

Although my age was never mentioned in the lawsuit, the press decided to make an issue out of it. I make it a point to mention I am 40 years old in interviews because I LOVE BEING 40 and I hope more performers will embrace their age instead of hiding behind a "showbiz age" like I once did for years.


From XoJane.com:

...I received an offer to sing in the P!NK tribute band by Rik (Nevone), a bass player...After an initial offer, I was told that Chuck (Befonte), the drummer of said band, wanted to “keep looking"...Months later, I was informed Chuck had left the band. I was once again offered the job. At this point I was quite busy, so I accepted a position on a temporary basis. Each Tuesday, I’d show up for rehearsal and sing the various hits from P!NK’s 6 studio albums...Although I couldn’t commit to the project permanently, it was a great job.

I agreed to perform one show at Napper Tandy’s in Milford, NY on April 26th. At our final rehearsal, there was a potential understudy/replacement observing the show. She looked exactly like P!NK. I was excited to help bring this band to the next level and possibly transition to a new singer...

As if on cue, a man entered the room with 3 very large stacks of paper. One for me, one for Rik and one for Jon, the guitarist...


But to her credit, Collette's making the most of being misogynized -- right down to selling "Justice For Collette" T-shirts!

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rocktivity

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Reply Singer sued for being too mediocre and unattractive for Pink cover band (Original post)
rocktivity Aug 2014 OP
tridim Aug 2014 #1
Louisiana1976 Aug 2014 #2
niyad Aug 2014 #3
jmowreader Aug 2014 #4
rocktivity Aug 2014 #5
rocktivity Feb 2015 #6
rocktivity Jun 2015 #7
rocktivity Jul 2015 #8
rocktivity Aug 2015 #9
rocktivity Sep 2015 #10
rocktivity Mar 2016 #11
BlancheSplanchnik Apr 2016 #12
rocktivity Apr 2016 #13
rocktivity Aug 2016 #14
Collette Sep 2016 #15
rocktivity Dec 2017 #16

Response to rocktivity (Original post)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 07:50 PM

1. Definitely a Boehner approved lawsuit.

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Response to rocktivity (Original post)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 07:51 PM

2. I'm glad McLafferty's countersuing. Being too old and too ugly is a stupid reason to sue someone.

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Response to rocktivity (Original post)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 09:02 PM

3. and charlie looks like adonis, yes?

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Response to rocktivity (Original post)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 09:48 PM

4. How the hell do you be "too ugly" to be in a Pink cover band?

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Response to jmowreader (Reply #4)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 10:04 PM

5. Criminal intent?

Perhaps Bonfante is going to argue that Collette conspired with Nevone to be too ugly to front "his" Pink cover band -- that would make her an accessory!


rocktivity

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Response to rocktivity (Original post)

Sun Feb 15, 2015, 02:00 PM

6. UPDATE: From News For Musicians.com

Sued for “Subpar” P!nk Impersonation, McLafferty Fights Frivolous Lawsuits in NY

...In 2014, the one-time frontwoman of P!nk tribute band “Reservoir Dogs” was presented with a 112-page lawsuit seeking over $10 million in damages by former drummer (and personal injury attorney) Charles “Chuck” Bonfante...

The complaints against McLafferty are serious, and range from trademark infringement to conspiracy for fraud. In addition, Bonfante asserts that McLafferty “assisted, aided, and abetted” Nevone’s breach of contract, and that the two attempted to steal Bonfante’s original concept for Long Island’s first P!nk tribute band...The lawsuit has garnered significant press coverage, but the focus has been primarily on the singer’s physical appearance...

McLafferty has countersued, citing trauma and damages due in part to the inflammatory headlines. Last year, McLafferty stated that she had not been on an audition in over 3 months, “as fighting this case has been a full-time job”. Currently, McLafferty is working with the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York (LRANY) to propose guidelines for a bill that would prevent lawsuit abuse. The bill known informally as “Collette’s Law” seeks to broaden the definition of what constitutes a frivolous lawsuit, would increase sanctions for attorneys who file the suits, and would allow the courts to shift legal costs onto the plaintiff as penalty for filing frivolous actions.

The LRANY previously came under fire by (a) spokesperson...(for) (New York Assemblyman) Sheldon Silver...for engaging in “watchdog tactics”...Silver has (since) been arrested on federal corruption charges...


rocktivity

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Response to rocktivity (Original post)

Fri Jun 5, 2015, 01:13 PM

7. UPDATE: Colette is alive and well, living in Brooklyn, and blogging

Last edited Wed Jul 22, 2015, 10:43 AM - Edit history (4)

From Confessions of a Bad Ugly Singer.Wordpress.com:

The worst is over. I think. Of course, I thought that before...

Before the lawsuit, I was juggling 5 bands, and booking about one new studio client a week..(C)lients that are checking my online reputation before hiring me...After the lawsuit, I booked one new studio client the entire year. I’m in one band that plays on occasion...So I might as well get back in the studio and cut an album. I certainly have a lot to say these days...

I spent most of my 30’s in fear of my real age being revealed. Despite getting fired for my age when I was 38…despite the NY Post age shaming me not once but twice…Now I am SO comfortable with my age that I TATTOOED THAT SHIT ON MY WRIST, folks...

Talented, Beautiful, Up-and-Coming Singer Brutally Smear Campaigned and Sued by Cowardly Narcissist. ...(That's) what the headlines SHOULD have said. Instead, national publications such as the New York Post printed disgusting headlines that read: Singer Sued for Being Too Ugly!

(New York Post reporter) Lia Eustachewich admitted she mistakenly thought my age was an issue in my court case, even though I told her it wasn’t. I respect that she took responsibility for this. I’m saddened the NY Post is brushing me off on this issue though...Lia...you are going to be 40 someday. My hope is that if we can create a meaningful dialogue about this now, so you will be spared the bigotry that I’m subjected to on an almost a daily basis...



rocktivity

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Response to rocktivity (Original post)

Mon Jul 20, 2015, 02:01 PM

8. Collette Celebrates The First Anniversary of Pink-Gate

Last edited Sat Mar 26, 2016, 11:10 AM - Edit history (5)

with work on an upcoming album, and a song covering -- WAIT FOR IT! -- Pink!



She could write a book...what, she IS???


rocktivity

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Response to rocktivity (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 12:13 PM

9. Collette has added an FAQ to her blog

Last edited Thu Sep 17, 2015, 11:55 AM - Edit history (1)

Q. This is clearly a dispute between...(The Plaintiff and the man who hired you). What does this have to do with you?
A. It has absolutely nothing to do with me. This is common knowledge. I was dragged not the case simply because the Plaintiff wanted to include me. I have still never met the Plaintiff to this day.

Q. If the New York Post version of the story isn’t true, what is the true story?
A. The Plaintiff and band leader had bad blood and parted ways long before I was hired. Each started their own P!NK Tribute Band...The Plaintiff alleges that the band leader weaseled his way into his band and “stole his secrets” only to start an inferior “knock off band” that “cheapened his brand.” ...The Plaintiff alleged if we were to perform, he would suffer irreparable harm...I was not a member of the band, but an employee hired for the short term...The notion that it was my performance that inspired the lawsuit is 100% false...

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Response to rocktivity (Original post)

Thu Sep 17, 2015, 11:58 AM

10. 9/16/15 UPDATE: The Plaintiff Blinks; The Defendant Spits In His Eye

Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York:

Collette McLafferty’s life was turned upside down in 2014 when the singer and songwriter was served with a $10 million lawsuit...by a person whom she had never met, stemming from a job she accepted in a P!NK tribute band...Bloggers and writers came to her defense, and turned their sights on the plaintiff who filed the $10 million case, Charles Bonfante.

Now the tables have turned...Bonfante, a personal injury lawyer who is representing himself, recently offered to drop his lawsuit and actually pay Collette “half her legal fees.” But McLafferty refuses to give in.

“Nobody should ever have to go through what I’ve been through. This situation has humiliated me publicly, damaged my reputation, my career, my livelihood. This is harassment, legalized extortion plain and simple.”

...McLafferty has teamed up with the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York, a nonprofit, nonpartisan legal reform advocacy organization to draft “Collette’s Law.” The draft legislation takes aim at frivolous lawsuits by requiring those who file meritless actions to pay the other party’s legal costs, as well as increasing sanctions for plaintiffs who file frivolous lawsuits...



HALF my legal fees? How about ALL of them, PLUS malicious damages? Better yet, accept Bonfante's offer in exchange for him giving up practicing law!


rocktivity

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Response to rocktivity (Original post)

Fri Mar 25, 2016, 06:23 PM

11. 3/16 UPDATE: CASE DISMISSED!

The $10,000,000 lawsuit against me has been DISMISSED!!!!!
I am no longer being sued for $10,000,000 everybody! There will be a hearing on June 2nd to give Charles Bonfante an opportunity to explain himself and figure out what sanctions should be imposed.

After two years of fighting this, I will be meeting him for the first time.

ConfessionsOfABadUglySinger:
We live in a country where anyone can sue anybody for anything. It doesn’t matter if there is merit to the case or not. A case can take years to resolve or get thrown out of court. This underreported issue has the power to close down businesses of all sizes and completely hijack lives...The place I called home for ten years is no longer my home because a total stranger sued me...Like Iggy Azalea, I too had suicidal thoughts when the media had branded me “old”, “ugly” and “off key"...


According to her blog, she's had a New York law named after her, and tried everything from reaching out to U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to going to church for the first time in thirty years to wondering why the New York Post doesn't think that 79-year old Robert Redford isn't too old and ugly to sing on a movie soundtrack. But her two-year long strange trip is finally over, and now it's Bonfante's turn to sweat since his law license can be lifted -- Confessions Of A Bad, Ugly-In-His-Soul Lawyer, anyone? Anyway, mega congrats to Collette, and no doubt she's also grateful for the attention we DUers paid!




rocktivity

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Response to rocktivity (Reply #11)

Mon Apr 11, 2016, 09:34 PM

12. Thank you for the full story with updates!

Glad a good law is passed partly because of her.

Go, Colleen!!

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Response to rocktivity (Original post)

Sun Apr 17, 2016, 08:02 PM

13. 4/16 UPDATE: IT WAS A SUMMARY JUDGMENT!

Last edited Sat Dec 25, 2021, 02:42 PM - Edit history (4)

The details of the settlement have been released by Collette's legal team, and it contains a legal strategy Randi Rhodes taught me.

Randi was threatened with a lawsuit over something she said on the air, and said she had a filed a request for a "summary judgment" in response. Apparently that's the legal way of saying, "This case is so full of shit that neither you nor I should dignify it with a response, your honor." Well, Randi got her summary judgment. The plaintiffs appealed and won. Randi responded by asking for ANOTHER summary judgment -- and she got that, too!

Well, according to Collette's attorney:

Linked In.com: I prepared, filed and served a motion for summary judgment to dismiss all claims against McLafferty and for judgment on the counterclaim for abuse of process, and attorneys' fees, costs and sanctions against plaintiff. The uncontroverted evidence established...McLafferty took no part in the business decisions of Nevone's band...never met the plaintiff, never had a contract with the plaintiff, and did not know of Nevone's prior dealings with the plaintiff until the lawsuit was commenced.

The Court dismissed all claims against McLafferty and scheduled a conference for the purpose of scheduling a hearing on the issue of whether sanctions should be imposed on the plaintiff.

This is extra terrific news because the plaintiff and the plaintiff's lawyer are one and the same -- which means a dismissal of his law license can now be next item on the docket! CUE THE VONAGE THEME!


rocktivity


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Response to rocktivity (Original post)

Mon Aug 8, 2016, 01:52 PM

14. Justice For Collette accomplished

7/5/16 Update: It only took two years, but the trauma of the lawsuit and defamation courtesy of a man I have never met is starting to feel like a distant memory. I’ve got an album in the works and my music career is on the comeback. I’ve learned from this experience that I have amazing friends, people who stood by me even when I lost my shit form the stress. On July 19th at 9:30 AM at The Supreme Court of Riverhead, I will be in the same room with the man who sued me for $10,000,000 for the first (and hopefully only) time in my life...

I have been advised that my decision to speak about this case on social media will come under scrutiny, which I welcome. To anyone who is being unfairly dragged into the legal system, I hope I can inspire you to also shout out the injustices from the rooftops until those injustices are corrected...

7/20/16 Update: First of all, never in a million years would I have imagined that the end of my day would consist of lunch with me, my lawyer and Charles Bonfante...I actually had refused to shake his hand when he first introduced himself....

I took the stand. I cursed out the legal system and told the judge, the stenographer, and everyone in that room that P!NKTributegate was a disgrace to the system. I called the legal system a joke and a scam to the judge’s face. I made it clear that every legal professional should be mortified of this case being allowed to be in the system for this long.

I got my legal fees back (minus what I raised online) and a little extra to cover my therapy bills. From a monetary point of view, I got much less then what I deserved. But I gained...an elevated sense sense of self love and self-respect...(and)...an appreciation for the little things in life after pulling through the depression and the severe trauma.

I made eye contact with Charles Bonfante several times and the dude looked like he was going to cry. He has agreed to have a public written apology...He wants to take a couple of weeks to reflect on everything that has happened, so I will grant him that and let him tell you in his own words that he is sorry...I consider myself a humanitarian, and an inconvenient truth is that those values are tested when coming face to face with someone who has hurt you...If mothers of slain children can forgive their killers, I can forgive Charles Bonfante...

Bonfante owes the public an apology only in the sense that he wasted our legal system not only as a plaintiff but as a lawyer in his own right. I hope he's grateful that he still has his license. He also owes one to every aspiring musician who has been taken advantage of by "the music business." But I'll just hope that Collette finds Bonfante's apology to HER to be sufficient, and consider the matter officially closed, then.


rocktivity

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Response to rocktivity (Reply #14)

Fri Sep 16, 2016, 07:41 PM

15. Thank you for your coverage and an update!

Hey there, just want to thank you for all of your coverage on the democratic underground forum. While the lawsuit is over, there is still a huge battle ahead for me. I have decided to publicly forgive the man who sued me for $10,000,000.... However I will go on record to say I am very upset that he backed out of the public apology. My decision to settle for such a small amount, was conditional to a public apology. Still, I can't accrue any more legal fees so I am not going to go after him for it. I do hope one day he does the right thing and makes a public statement. The courts and judge Arthur Pitts pressured me to settle and they even tried to cancel the hearing after I did so. My latter insisted that I get to speak. I told the judge to his face that The Supreme Court of Riverhead should be mortified that they tolerated this in their court system for two years. It truly is a disgrace. The bar also choose to do nothing. The system doesn't like to punish lawyers. That is what I have learned from this experience. Bonfante had a lawyer for the first time at this hearing. They choose to refrain from punishing him at all, which is a slap in the face to the torture that this experience was. While it was great to get my legal fees back, the fact that I was not compensated for my time or loss of reputation really bothers me.

Chuck's remorse was very real and palpable, as the entire dispute was completely between him and the man who hired me. His beef with the man who hired me in my opinion was legit. Only Chuck should have taken him to small claims and filed a 4 page complaint. He was not professional. Instead he was emotional, hence the insults, 112 page complaint and the extremely dumb choice of dragging me into it. I understand why he got so angry at the man who hired me, but his job as a lawyer is to put that aside and stick to the facts, which he didn't do!

Now that the lawsuit is over, I am turning my attention to the The New York Post and the way the media handled the story. The case was actually between two men and had absolutely nothing to do with me! They disbanded when the bass player asked Charles Bonfante to borrow $15,000 because he was being investigated for elder fraud. Chuck was handling the paperwork for the bandleaders elderly aunts estate. He was angry because he felt the band leader put his practice at risk. The band leader also then defamed Chuck on Facebook... Which is most likely what sparked the lawsuit. This is what the media should have reported on. When the media told America that I was sued for being too old and too ugly... Well the flat out lied to sell newspapers.

Bonfante did make comments about my looks, but my age was never once mentioned. The media made that part up. He also made derogatory remarks about the bass player and guitar player. In reality, his opinion of my looks was a very small detail of the case. I understand why the media was fascinated by it, but they missed out on a much more interesting and scandalous story.

The New York Post could have told the truth and still sold papers.... But their spin on it was almost a work of fiction. They gave the impression that the lawsuit happened because I performed and that my performance sparked the suit. It's simply not true.
So I am working to get the real story out! Also I am getting a lot of resistance in Albany regarding legal reform. Frivolous lawsuits create profits for The Trial Lawyers and The Lawsuit Lending Industry... But that is a whole other drama! I wish this case was closed... But it's just starting! Again thank you for all of your coverage!

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Response to rocktivity (Original post)

Fri Dec 22, 2017, 12:04 AM

16. 12/2017 UPDATE: ...A musician/lawyer advised me to shut up, pay my legal fees,

Last edited Mon Oct 11, 2021, 11:19 AM - Edit history (1)

...agree to a gag order, forget about legal reform, not demand any accountability, and focus on singing since my "window was closing" due to my age...My window is closing but his isn't?...and that I "needed to stop singing flat" (he had never heard me sing, he was going by the press reports). He told me no one outside of the NY Post would ever write about my case as it was yesterday's news...To be fair, he meant well and was offering me his services for free to sign my life and rights away...

I politely said thanks but no thanks. Instead I worked with a legal team that understood why this case was so important to fight and I gave up my Manhattan apartment so I could pay them. Since getting his legal advice, I have a lawsuit reform bill with five sponsors from The Assembly, a release on a legendary house music label, a national commercial, my first feature film singing credit, my first major label credit and have sang on tracks with producers all over the world. Oh, and a book deal.

Moral of the story: believe in yourself even when the world is literally telling you that you're old, ugly and terrible at the very thing you love more then anything that also happens to pay the bills.

https://www.facebook.com/littleredcollette/posts/10156345131427573


rocktivity

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