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Pop / Rock 15/08/2001

Dream Wins Court Victory Over Former Talent Agency

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LOS ANGELES (Top 40 Charts) - Three members of Bad Boy Records pop quartet Dream - Holly Arnstein, Melissa Schuman, and Ashley Poole - and their parents received word on Sunday (August 12) that a Los Angeles superior court has dismissed the breach-of-contract, unfair competition, and all other claims brought against them in a civil suit. The suit was originally filed on January 16 by Judith Fontaine of Fontaine & Daughters Production.

Fontaine, the head of the Los Angeles-based talent agency, had sued for damages in connection with the group's termination of its relationship with her. Fontaine claimed that in autumn of 1998, after auditioning more than 1,000 girls to be in an all-female group, she selected Arnstein, Schuman, and Alex Chester. Poole joined the threesome in October 1998 and they took the name First Warning. The group received an offer for a worldwide recording contract from BMG-Germany but declined the deal and severed its ties with Fontaine in March 1999. Diana Ortiz subsequently replaced Chester. After initially threatening the group with legal action, Fontaine accepted a $25,000 settlement.

Sean "P. Diddy" Combs was also named as a defendant in the civil suit, as were Bad Boy Entertainment, Arista Records, BMG Corporation, Kenny Burns of 2620 Management, Vincent Herbert, and Deborah Hammond of Clockwork Entertainment. Combs was named in the suit because Fontaine allegedly made several requests in writing and in person to former Bad Boy Entertainment senior vice president Ron Gillyard to have the information on the website corrected to reflect that Fontaine, not Burns, discovered the group. With the suit dismissed, the information on Dream's official website (thedreamsite.com) maintains that "Dream is the brainchild of 2620 Management."

Dream member Arnstein affirmed this year how her group was discovered by Burns and his 2620 Management. "Well, actually our manager Kenny Burns knew Puffy and Andre Harrell from Bad Boy, and he arranged an audition with him. And bing-bang-boom, we auditioned and he liked us a lot, so that's how it happened," Arnstein said.

In dismissing the claims, Judge Owen Lee Kwong found that the three members of Dream had legally exercised their statutory right as minors under California Family Code Section 6710 to disaffirm a settlement agreement with Fontaine prior to the release of Dream's hit first album, It Was All A Dream. Paul W. Sweeney Jr., the lead attorney on the case, was very pleased with the judge's finding and stated, "We always maintained that the lawsuit had no merit."

Dream's It Was All A Dream came out in January on Bad Boy Records. The co-executive producers of the group's album are Combs and Andre Harrell. The quartet is currently performing on MTV's TRL tour.






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