The family of the late Mexican-American superstar Jenni Rivera is suing her former manager, alleging that he is violating a confidentiality agreement by spilling secrets about her life for a forthcoming Univision series.
Rivera, who was born in Long Beach, Calif., died in a plane crash in Mexico in 2012. Her manager, Pete Salgado, has written an unpublished book about her and is participating in a series entitled “Su Nombre Era Dolores, la Jenn Que Yo Conci” (“Her Name was Dolores, the Jenn That I Knew”). In announcing the series, of which Salgado is executive producer, Univision promised that it would “reveal many secrets” about the singer’s life.
“Salgado’s actions are not only shameful, but constitute clear breaches of contract and fiduciary duty,” Jenni Rivera Enterprises alleges in the suit, which seeks more than $10 million in damages.
Rivera left behind five children. JRE is run by her sister, Rosie Rivera, who is also the trustee of her estate.
At issue is a non-disclosure agreement between JRE and Salgado, which JRE contends was signed in 2013. But Salgado’s attorneys have maintained that the document is nothing more than “a poorly executed forgery.”
“Mr. Salgado did not sign it,” attorney Stephen Rothschild wrote in a letter to JRE’s lawyer in June. “Mr. Salgado’s signature is outlined in shadow, indicating that someone cut out or copied his signature from another document and pasted it onto the signature block.”
JRE states in its suit that it has retained a forensic expert who has also worked on issues related to the Zodiac killer and Howard Hughes’ will. JRE’s expert has examined the signature on the non-disclosure agreement and determined that it is genuine, according to the suit.
“The lawsuit makes clear that JRE will vigorously enforce its rights to prevent any further disclosure and any use of wrongfully disclosed information, and JRE will seek compensation for the substantial damage it has already suffered as a result of the wrongdoing alleged in the lawsuit,” JRE said in a statement.
JRE contends that Salgado has devalued potential books or TV shows that would be authorized by Rivera’s family.
Neither Univision nor Salgado’s attorney immediately responded to a request for comment.
In the June letter, Salgado’s attorney accused JRE of “scare tactics” designed to prevent him from completing projects “in which he and others have invested a great deal of time and money.” The letter also accused Rivera’s sister of attempting to thwart competition with JRE’s own projects.