In a report from Reuters, a federal judge in Manhattan ordered Jay-Z to testify next week as part of a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into Iconix. The SEC said it wants to ask Jay-Z about his personal involvement with Rocawear and about transactions between his companies and Iconix.
The 4:44 artist sold Rocawear to Iconix in 2007 for an estimated $204 million. The SEC has said it is looking into writedowns totaling this sum — $169 million in 2015 and $34.6 million in 2017 — that Iconix took in connection with Rocawear. Iconix claims that Jay-Z was still involved in Rocawear’s business dealings after the sale, even though the rapper has said otherwise.
Jay-Z had failed to respond to SEC subpoenas served on him November and February. The rapper’s lawyers said that his busy touring schedule was the reason for him being unresponsive. They also stated that his testimony wasn’t relevant enough to the case to disrupt his work.
“The testimony has been delayed for five months, and I do not intend to tolerate any further delay,” U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe said.
Gardephe said that he expects the testimony, which is happening on May 15, to be finished in a day and that the SEC must ask him for permission to go beyond that.