PRESS STATEMENT – Raj Chaudhuri’s Claims Against R&S Records And Renaat Vandepapeliere Dismissed
Issued On Behalf Of Dance Music Record Label R&S Records And It’s Founder And CEO, Renaat Vandepapeliere.
Raj Chaudhuri’s Claims Against R&S Records And Renaat Vandepapeliere Dismissed
All claims submitted to an Employment Tribunal by Raj Chaudhuri, were dismissed on 06 April 2022.
In a trenchant judgment following a 2-day hearing on 10th and 11th March 2022 at which Chaudhuri gave evidence, the judge ruled that Chaudhuri was not an employee of R&S Records. As such his claims were dismissed.
Employment Judge (EJ) Wright rejected Chaudhuri’s version of events. She found that:
>> For his 700 Euros a month, Chaudhuri did as much or as little work for R&S Records as he saw fit and in fact, he did very little;
>> Contrary to his claims, Chaudhuri was in business on his own account and knew that he was not an employee;
>> His contemporaneous descriptions of himself contradicted the status he wished to present to the tribunal and what Chaudhuri claimed now was not what he understood at the time he was scouting for R&S;
>> On Chaudhuri’s evidence, there were 33 missing invoices which he failed to disclose and it was strange and of concern that Chaudhuri only provided a tax return for a single year which had been amended just before a tribunal deadline;
>> Having sought to extend his remit and further ingratiate himself with R&S Records, he was unsuccessful in attempting to negotiate a partnership deal with Vandepapeliere and never managed to secure the deal he wanted;
>> He had no authority to sign acts for R&S Records and did not do so;
>> The basis of Chaudhuri’s claim to be entitled to a payment of £10,000 was unclear but, more seriously, in September 2020 he threatened to publish an open letter online unless £10,000 was paid into his account that evening which Vandepapeliere referred to as blackmail;
>> Chaudhuri released details of his claim though it was sub judice leading to a concern that media outlets including the BBC, Guardian and Resident Advisor were in contempt of court;
>> Contemporaneous documents pointed to the opposite of Chaudhuri’s alleged basis for his claims which were all dismissed;
>> It was a difference of view about the future direction of the label that led to a fundamental difference of opinion and a parting of the ways.
Renaat Vandepapeliere commented, “After 18 months of making false, malicious and damaging allegations about me and the record label, the judge has utterly rejected Chaudhuri’s attempts to rewrite history.”
Following criticism about the basis for his claims by a judge in a previous hearing, and despite having pursued wide press publication for his allegations, Chaudhuri withdrew significant aspects of his claim without explanation, retraction or apology.
In consequence of the judges’ decisions and his failed claims, Chaudhuri and his legal representative now face applications for costs in excess of £95,000.
In further developments,
>> the Belgian authorities are investigating the possible prosecution of Chaudhuri for blackmail threats.
>> a reference on contempt has been made to the UK Attorney-General by leading media law firm, Manley’s.
Background Summary and Further Comment follow……
Mr Vandepapeliere formed R&S Records in 1983 with his partner Sabine and is widely regarded as a pioneer of the electronic dance music industry. The label is one of the forerunners in the genre.
Chaudhuri’s race discrimination allegations are contradicted by the exceptional African American artist and label stalwart, Mikahl Anthony.
Anthony said, “Renaat has been nothing but genuine in regards to my musical career and also understanding the culture i come from as an African American living in the states. He’s not only supported my Art; he’s been a mentor and true supporterof diversity. I fully affirm his characterand the allegations seem completely opposite of the individual he’s been to me. He’s been a man of respect, honor and authentically a great human being. Renaat; he’s changed my life for the better and has always been present in a time of need.”
It was a reference to Mikahl by Vandepapeliere which sparked the press furore exploited by Chaudhuri.
A former, disgruntled LA-based artist, Eddington Again, whose contract had been terminated by Vandepapeliere, accused R&S Records of lacking racial and gender diversity among its artists; a label that doesn’t “sign colour”. An allegation that is categorically false.
In a series of leaked, private, email exchanges between Mr Vandepapeliere and Eddington Again, Vandepapeliere said he had, “found a full pure breed black artist that he could spend his life focussed on”.
Vandepapeliere’s remark in Flemish referred to Mikahl Anthony as world class and unique, a one-off artist.
When told the meaning of the phrase could be misconstrued in other languages, Vandepapeliere immediately apologised.
But Raj Chaudhuri exploited the ambiguity with a self-serving intention to damage the reputation of Vandepapeliere and R&S Records having previously ‘warned’ Mr Vandepapeliere about what harm allegations of racism would cause, .
R&S Records is a world class label working with music’s top creative artists signed for their ability to write and produce great tracks irrespective of colour, creed or gender.
R&S Records and Mr Vandepapeliere now look forward to future releases and refocussing their attention on sharing music for all to enjoy.
On the employment tribunal dismissal of all three claims, Mr Vandepapeliere said:
“I am delighted that the tribunal has dismissed all three claims brought by Raj Chaudhuri. Given our label’s roster of artists, his allegations of racial discrimination always looked like a cover for his unwarranted demands for money.
“This last two years has been absolute hell for me and my partner Sabine, my family and the artists on our record label. My artistic policy for R&S Records has always been inclusive and Raj Chaudhuri knew that. He also knew that allegations of racism would have a devastating impact on me and my business.
We would like to personally thank our loyal friends, fans and artists who have remained supportive throughout these very difficult times.
“Differences of opinion over music and artistic direction in a record label are one thing, but to falsely label them as racism or racial inequality is wrong; it undermines the very fabric of tackling racism and makes a mockery of those who are genuinely fighting inequality.
“Dance music has always been about uniting people through the commonality and love of electronic music, regardless of ethnicity, colour, religion or sexuality. I have always been a champion and supporter of original artists. Signing an artist is about their talents; the music they make and produce – it’s what the label stands for.
“As the Tribunal Judge found, my priority is, ‘the integrity of the music R&S Records produced’.”
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