Miami Beach resident Paulina Rubio is sometimes called the Mexican Madonna, but the Latin pop princess left a stadium full of fans, including the president of Colombia, singing the blues when she didn't show up for a concert in August.
"I mean, that was a total embarrassment and I felt like I was gonna die, " said Carlos Gutierrez, the promoter who arranged the concert.
"What is the most important thing that an artist can do? Show up and perform in a professional manner, she didn't do the most basic obligation under the contract," said Richard Wolfe, the lawyer representing Gutierrez, a Colombian non-profit music group, and an agency of the Colombian government, all of whom are listed as plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Rubio.
They're alleging breach of contract, saying Rubio's absence cost them a total of $980,000. The lawsuit alleges that Rubio agreed to play three concerts in Colombia. The stops in Bogota and Medellin were flawless, but the six-months pregnant singer never made it to the show celebrating the new president's inaugural in the city of Tunja.
"It was total chaos, her band and her whole total crew was ready at the venue and she simply didn't show up," Gutierrez said.
Wolfe said Gutierrez went out of his way to yield to demands that weren't in the contract.
"She certainly was given a plane, ground transportation, a military escort, everything that you could possibly do to get her to the concert, in time for the concert, was made available and she simply chose not to leave her presidential suite," said Wolfe.
Not fair, says Rubio's lawyer, Howard King of Los Angeles.
"Poor Paulina was unable to land at the venue and refused to endanger her baby by traveling on a dangerous road," King said when reached by telephone. He points out that Rubio was terribly sorry about not being able to reach Tunja in time, but says she offered to make up for the canceled show by playing a free concert the next day. That offer was turned down by the organizers.
So what's the deal with the dog? Gutierrez and Wolfe produced a letter from Rubio's doctor saying she needs to travel with her pet, Lima Valentina, because she's under terrific stress and she's developed an emotional dependence on the dog.
"I'm completely unaware of a dog issue, that's a desperate promoter and his lawyer stirring up sleaze," King said.
When asked if this whole thing could've been the dog's fault, assuming Lima Valentina was not with Rubio, Wolfe laughed.
"Maybe the dog ate the homework," Wolfe said.