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In fight with ex-manager, judge denies access to Shakira's money

Add one to the "Shakira" column.

The Colombian singer, whom Los Angeles fans know from her hits like “Hips Don’t Lie” and her stint as a judge on “The Voice,” recently won a round in her complicated legal dispute with her former manager and boyfriend.

Antonio de la Rua, who dated Shakira for a decade and managed her career for a time, filed suit against her, claiming that he was entitled to between $100 million and $250 million, since by oral agreement he was her business partner.

Shakira has claimed that he was only a “business adviser,” however, and has produced documents that she claims show de la Rua admitting that he was her boyfriend, but not her business partner.

Last week, a judge in Geneva ruled that de la Rua did not have access to a bank account Shakira had in Switzerland, evidently because it had not been proven that de la Rua was entitled to any of Shakira’s fortune.

The dispute, which has seen filings in the Bahamas, New York, Los Angeles and Geneva, will resume in L.A. on July 31.

The important lesson we want our readers to take away from this is that it is always a good idea to have any business relationship formally committed to writing, even if it does not seem important at the time. Having a contract that spells out each party's rights and obligations is a good way to set expectations. It also amounts to concrete proof that you can turn back to in the event that there is ever a dispute of some kind.

Source: The New York Daily News, “Shakira wins legal victory over ex-boyfriend Antonio de la Rua in lawsuit that spans continents,” Nancy Dillon, July 4, 2013