Flo Rida was awarded $82.6 million after a South Florida jury found that Celsius energy drinks was guilty of breaching an endorsement deal with the rapper, reports NBC News. The jury also found that the company concealed pertinent information from him.
Flo Rida, whose legal name is Tramar Dillard, expressed his gratitude to the jury for their decision and said he now appreciates the legal system more than ever.
“This was a long journey, but we prevailed. From the start, I only wanted what I worked for, nothing more, nothing less,” he said in his statement. “I was instrumental in the Celsius that you know and love today. When this journey began, no one knew Celsius. I took Celsius all over the world through my videos, concerts, appearances, and social media. I have gained a new respect for the judicial system. God bless America.”
According to Flo Rida, he helped to put Celsius on the map by using his star power as an ambassador for the brand from 2014 to 2018, but the business relationship eventually deteriorated.
“Basically, I helped birth this company, and all we was looking for was some trustworthy people who acted as if they were family,” he told The Associated Press. “And then when it comes down to the success of today, they just forgot about me.”
During the trial, the legal team representing Celsius argued that the company experienced its greatest success after Flo Rida’s deal expired. They state that the brand's growth was due to the business acumen of its executives, not the superstar rapper.
John Uustal, Flo Rida’s lawyer said that his client was not seeking a specific dollar amount in the suit but the 1% ownership he was promised in the original contract. Also, he believed that the jury would make the right decision after hearing the facts of the case.
“We said we’d trust the jury to do the right thing, we’d trust the verdict, accept the decision of the jury," Uustal said. "I’m glad, in this case, the jury concluded that Flo Rida should get what he worked for.”
Celsius could appeal the verdict, but they did not announce what their intentions are.