A former tour manager for ‘NSYNC has filed suit against the group, alleging that Justin Timberlake, Lance Bass, JC Chasez, Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick are racists.
Ibrahim Duarte is seeking $10 million from the boy band for firing him for what he claims were racial reasons, according to the office of his attorney, Douglas Wigdor. The suit was filed in New York State Supreme Court on November 25 against the members of ‘NSYNC as well as the group’s entertainment holding companies, Zeeks Inc., Skeez LLC and ‘NSYNC Inc.
Duarte, who is black, alleges that Timberlake once used the “n” word with him when he yelled, “You n—s ain’t sh-.” He also claims the group increasingly used racial slurs and derogatory language toward him and other black members employed by the group, including its sound engineer and choreographer. In a statement released by his lawyers, Duarte claims he was forced to travel in a different tour bus than the band because Bass was embarrassed to have a black tour manager in front of his friends.
Duarte worked for ‘NSYNC from approximately January 1999 until December 2000, when the group concluded its No Strings Attached tour. He is a 25-year veteran of the music industry who in the past has performed with Kool and the Gang and worked with the Baha Men and Color Me Badd.
The claims of racism could be undermined by a previous lawsuit Duarte filed against ‘NSYNC in June of last year seeking approximately $155,000, which he said was still owed to him by the group for tour-manager duties. That suit was handled by a different attorney, Robert Greener, who said Wednesday (December 17) that he was no longer involved in that litigation. No allegations of racism were alluded to in that suit, according to reports then.
‘NSYNC’s spokesperson did not return calls by press time.