Maybe singer/producer Ryan Leslie was distraught when he offered a $1 million reward to whoever found his stolen laptop. Out of his mind or not, he’s now been ordered by a jury to pay up.
The laptop contained unfinished music, including songs Leslie was working on for Kanye West and Jay-Z’s “Watch the Throne” album (though Leslie’s work never made the album cut). Also on the laptop, which was stolen when Leslie was in Germany, were tracks from his own CD, Les Is More. Leslie is currently promoting the album.
An auto shop owner named Armin Augstein found the computer and gave it to German police in November 2010. Initially Leslie refused to pay the reward. Then he suggested that Augstein was somehow responsible for the computer’s theft. So Augstein sued. “Ryan refused to pay up claiming that the hard drive was corrupted and he never actually retrieved his intellectual properties,” reports MTV News.
But the judge in the case stated that because of Leslie´s actions after receiving the laptop back, led him to believe the music files were indeed intact. Reported the New York Post, “Judge Harold Baer Jr. told jurors that because Leslie returned the hard drive to the manufacturer after getting it back from Augstein (instead of immediately turning it in as evidence), they could assume that the missing files were there when Augstein returned the laptop.”
“No one forced him to make an offer of so much money for a finder’s fee,” Augstein told the newspaper. He believes Leslie should be held accountable to his word.
Leslie seems to have accepted the verdict. He tweeted soon after the verdict: “Ain’t no way to get around ups & downs. Jury of my peers rules for the plaintiff.”
Do you think $1 million is too much for Leslie to pay?