Moodfest lawsuit shocks Grand Palladium

MONTEGO BAY, St James — Insisting that there was no arrangement to stage Moodfest 2021 at Grand Palladium Resorts in Point, Hanover, Enrico Pezzoli, the hotel’s general manager, was yesterday stunned that the resort was named alongside tourism official Delano Seiveright and the Government as defendants in a defamation suit brought to the Supreme Court by Moodfest LLC.

In a statement, Moodfest LLC indicated that the company was left with no option but to bring the defamation suit against Seiveright, the Government, and Grand Palladium after their initial request for the parties to withdraw “untrue statements” was not honoured.

“For a senior official of the Jamaican Government to tarnish our name and libel us, is something we take very seriously. We take equally serious the action of the Grand Palladium issuing untrue statement in terms contrary to the agreement between Moodfest LLC and the Grand Palladium, and being party to the defamation,” read a portion of a statement from Moodfest LLC.

“We felt compelled to address the matter immediately, and so in order to preserve Moodfest LLC’s legacy, which we have built, and continue to build, we had, through our attorneys, Jennifer Housen and Caribbean Legal Practice, initially sought to afford the opportunity to withdraw these untrue statements. This opportunity missed and instead there was a doubling down deeper on those lies.”

But speaking yesterday to the Jamaica Observer, Pezzoli explained that the hotel saw no need to apologise, as the statement that it released indicating that there was no arrangement to host the party at the hotel was accurate.

“…Anyway, we were caught a little bit by surprise, to be honest. Their [Moodfest LLC’s]first letter from their legal department in Kingston was saying that they still want a good relationship, they understand the pandemic and they hope they can do business with us in the future, but they were warning us to use the right verbiage.

“We did not respond so far because we said, okay, we did not use the wrong verbiage. We never said they were fraudulent or so, we just said there was no agreement, there will be no party. And then this; [yesterday] morning I saw this thing. We have not received anything official as yet. We just saw it in the social media, so as soon as we receive something official we will pass it to our legal department,” Pezzoli explained.

For his part, Seiveright said the matter was in the hands of lawyers.

“Lawyers will handle,” the senior tourism strategist told the Sunday Observer.

He added: “The interest of the people of Jamaica in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic comes first.”

Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte said:”We will take our instructions and respond to the claims.”

A war of words erupted last weekend between Seiveright, the Grand Palladium, and Housen. It all began when Seiveright warned that there were events being promoted, including Moodfest, which appeared to be scams.

“Lots of scams re partying in Jamaica luring unsuspecting Americans, primarily…” he said on Twitter on May 30.

Moodfest had been advertised to be staged at Grand Palladium from September 16-20. The hotel has, however, sought to clear the air.

“In the spirit of absolute clarity, there is no events agreement with the organisers of Mood Festival 2021, therefore, same will not be hosted at our properties as advertised,” the resort said in a written statement last weekend.

“The Grand Palladium Jamaica & Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resorts & Spa continue to be guided by the COVID-19 regulations as outlined by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Tourism in Jamaica.”

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