Trump Campaign Sued by Kids Dance Troupe Over Broken Deal

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Children perform before Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Pensacola, Florida, on Jan. 13, 2016.

AP Photo/Michael Snyder
  • 10 Florida girls say Trump campaign miseld USA Freedom Kids
  • Father of performer now unsure if he he’ll vote for Trump

Donald J. Trump for President is being sued again, this time for allegedly violating a contract with a group of pre-teen singers and dancers.

The USA Freedom Kids dance troupe that became a media sensation after their January performance at a Florida Trump rally is suing the presidential hopeful’s campaign. The group of 10 girls accuses the campaign of depriving them of an opportunity to perform and promote their products despite a verbal agreement, according to a copy of the complaint filed Tuesday in Florida state court in Sarasota County.

The troupe alleges Trump reneged on a pair of agreements, including a deal to provide space to sell their album and T-shirts during their first campaign performance in Pensacola, Florida, on Jan. 13. The space, agreed to as a substitute of the group’s $2,500 performance fee, was never made available, according to the complaint.

“As discussed, we are not able to pay the girls or cover travel, however, we have coordinated with the event space to allow the girls to set up a table and pre-sell their album, shirts, etc. if this is helpful to you," Trump campaign regional field director Stephanie Scruggs wrote in an e-mail on Jan. 5. The e-mail is signed ‘Deus Tecum,’ Latin for ‘God be with you.’

Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment on the lawsuit. The case follows other lawsuits, including one filed by a former staffer in North Carolina accusing a Trump official of threatening him with a gun and another by a former consultant seeking to block the campaign from pursuing arbitration against him over allegedly leaked gossip.

‘Freedom Call’

The group’s performance of “Freedom’s Call” in Florida has received more than 6 million YouTube viewers since their January performance, a song that included the lyrics: “President Donald Trump knows how to make America great. Deal from strength or get crushed every time."

YouTube: The Official Donald Trump Jam

A week later, the group boarded a flight to Chicago en-route to a scheduled performance at a Trump rally in Des Moines, Iowa, on Jan. 28, paying for their own transportation and lodging. Upon landing in Chicago, the girls were told their performance had been canceled. The troupe rented a van and drove to Des Moines, where they were prohibited from performing or speaking with the media, according to the complaint.

Jeff Popick, the group’s manager and the father of one of the performers, said he isn’t sure he’ll vote for Trump in November.

“I think Donald Trump and the Donald Trump campaign has handled this as wrong as can be," said Popick, stating the troupe’s first album will soon be available for a $4 download. ‘Freedom’s Call’ will not be included on the disc. “Does that rise to the level of not being the best guy or gal for the job? I honestly don’t know."

The group is seeking $5,000 to $15,000 in damages for the alleged contract breach, according to the complaint. The filing couldn’t be immediately confirmed in court records.

The case is Pop Media Network v. Donald J Trump for President, 45885922, 12th Judicial Circuit for Sarasota County, Florida.

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