Ginuwine (a.k.a. Elgin Baylor Lumpkin) enjoyed huge success as a solo artist in the late 1990s and early 2000s. And just last year, he released an album as part of the group TGT (along with Tank and Tyrese.)
But now, he’s broke.
According to the New York Daily News, word of his freefall came during a pretrial hearing pitting Ginuwine against Robert Reives, executive producer of his hit debut album, The Bachelor.
“Mr. Lumpkin is very close to declaring bankruptcy,” Ginuwine’s lawyer, Bruce Beckner, said. “He owes my firm a ton of money and a bunch of other people a ton of money. He owes Uncle Sam 300-odd thousand dollars in back income taxes.”
Beckner attributed the money trouble to a recent divorce from his wife, the former rapper Solé.
Reives says he is owed royalties from a $1.25 million five-album deal Ginuwine signed with Sony, and seeks as much as $250,000.
Ginuwine argues that Reives’ claim falls outside the statute of limitations, and that he isn’t owed anything.
The two sides will argue their case in Manhattan Federal Court on Monday.
After the release of his debut single, “Pony,” which spent two weeks atop the R&B charts in 1996, Ginuwine went on to sell about 7 million records.
In court filings, Reives’ attorney, Mike Meier, cast doubt on Ginuwine’s current claims of dire financial straits.
“Despite the repeated representations before the court of defendant’s counsel that defendant has lost his large fortune … defendant has spared no expense in this proceeding to try every angle and every new legal theory his lawyers could come up with,” Meier wrote.
The website celebritynetworth.com estimates Ginuwine’s net worth to be $11 million.
In a deposition, Ginuwine described Reives as someone who was hard to work with and contributed little to his first album.
“The bumping of heads, the disagreements were because when we were (going) to places I would be on time and he wouldn’t be,” Ginuwine said, according to papers. “I felt like … this would hinder my career from furthering if I continued to deal with this.”