08:25, May 23 293 0 theguardian.com

2018-05-23 08:25:06
Pussycat Dolls sue Daily Mail owner over 'prostitution ring' story

Girl group Pussycat Dolls are suing the parent company of the Daily Mail, after an article was published in which former member Kaya Jones said the group was a “prostitution ring”, where members were given drugs and “passed around” music industry executives for sex.

The lawsuit, filed by the band’s manager, Robin Antin, as well as under the Pussycat Dolls Inc brand name, is citing defamation as a result of the article, published in October 2017. It describes the article as “intentional, reckless and malicious … false and defamatory statements made by a disgruntled, unreliable and biased person looking for her 15 minutes of fame, Kaya Jones, when the defendants knew through their direct prior dealings with plaintiffs, or should have known, with even the most basic check, that Ms Jones was unreliable and her story obviously false”.

The Mail article published tweets by Jones that made the accusations, and also quoted an interview Jones gave to the website InfoWars that contained further accusations. The UK office of the Daily Mail refused to comment; the Guardian has contacted the US office for its reaction.

Jones joined the Pussycat Dolls in 2003, as they were transferring from being a dance troupe to a pop group, led by frontwoman Nicole Scherzinger. She recorded backing vocals for their debut album but left the group in 2004, before the release of their breakthrough single Don’t Cha. The group went on to score other big hits in Buttons, Jai Ho and Stickwitu across two studio albums, which hit the Top 10 in both the US and UK.

There were reports that they were to reform in 2018, with member Kimberly Wyatt telling Comedy Central UK: “We’re reuniting at the end of this year. When I’ve got a dream and an intent, I’m quite relentless at pushing forward and making it happen.” There have been no confirmed tour dates or new material, though, and the lawsuit claims that the news stories impacted on the plans to reform. “One of the central themes of the all-women group is female empowerment,” the claim reads, continuing that the articles “directly impacted the groups reputation in this regard and in turn has caused incalculable damage to any effort to reunite by the group”.

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