''Everybody Thinks I Was Just A Cheapskate'''
3:00PM ET December 1st, 2012
Contributor : Chris G.
A Rocky Williform Company
During a recent performance, singer Ryan Leslie spoke about the controversy surrounding his returned laptop and the $1 million reward he was forced to pay the man that returned it. Leslie attempted to clarify his position, after being dismissed as a cheapskate in some articles about the lawsuit.
"As you may or may not know, in 2010, someone stole all my music from me," said Leslie. "Initially, I put out an award of twenty thousand dollars backpack back. And when it never returned, I upped the reward to a million dollars because that music was absolutely everything to me. It was everything. It was my life."
"Eventually, somebody did return that backpack to me," he continued. "And when I looked in the hard drive to access everything that I had lost, the music just wasn't there. The hard drive wouldn't mount. I couldn't access anything. A year later, the same gentleman [who returned my backpack] - I don't know if it was because he misunderstood what the million dollars was for - he filed a lawsuit in federal court in New York City, demanding that I pay a million dollars for the music I never got back."
"And yesterday, the reason I'm on the front page and everybody thinks I was just a cheapskate or something like that, a jury of my peers, eight people, they looked me in my face and said I had to pay this man one million dollars for music I never got back," Leslie explained. "And so I got up today...and I looked at the headline, and it said 'Rap weasel.' So listen, man. Music always comes from a place of inspiration, and I gotta tell y'all, man - never have I been more inspired than when I lost everything [to then] create the most incredible album I could possibly make. And for the last two years, I invested every single penny, every dollar I had, to make the most incredible, artistic offering I possibly could."
"And despite what the jury said, that million-dollar offer is still out there for anyone who can return all my compositions to me," he added.