The father of late Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla Perez has filed court documents to cease production of an upcoming TV series based on her marriage to guitarist Chris Perez.
On Friday, Abraham Quintanilla Jr. filed suit against Perez and his co-owned production company, Blue Mariachi, as well as Endemol Latino, in hopes of stopping a small-screen adaptation of Chris’ 2012 memoir, To Selena With Love, according to Wetpaint.
Three weeks ago, an announcement made by Perez through Facebook, whichwas reported here on the Inquisitr, revealed that the rights to the book had been recently optioned by both Endemol’s parent company, Endemol Shine, and Major TV.
Quintanilla alleges in the claim that an agreement signed by his former son-in-law just two months after Selena’s death in March, 1995, legally blocks him from attaching his name to anything related to the “I Could Fall In Love” star. That document, known as an Estate Properties Agreement, licenses Selena’s name, likeness, music and story solely to Abraham.
“The suit states [that] Perez is in violation of an Estate Properties Agreement [that] he signed two months after her death in 1995,” explains Forbes.
“That agreement stipulates that Quintanilla, Jr. is the exclusive rights holder of all ‘Entertainment Properties,’ which includes contract, trademark and copyright rights, rights to income, rights of publicity, rights to name, voice, signature, and photographs, among other rights, ‘throughout the world in perpetuity without restriction.’”
The suit also states that by agreeing to the terms of the contract, Perez was set to receive 25 percent of all future net profits received by Q Productions, the music company which Abraham owns, for Selena’s work. By those terms, Perez’s book, which was not released through any channel of Quintanilla’s, is seen as an “unauthorized” release, despite the fact that Chris was married to Selena for three years (the two wed in 1992 and remained such until her untimely passing).
“The petition states Mr. Perez violated the Entertainment Properties agreement,” Simran A. Singh, the attorney for the estate of Selena, shared with Forbes. “He doesn’t have the rights to publish a book or produce a television series based in any part on Selena.”
“Among other things,” he continued, “we are seeking a judicial declaration that the defendants have no right to exploit the series and stop production.”
Incidentally, in the 21 years since Selena was gunned down outside of a Days Inn motel in her hometown of Corpus Christi, Texas, Quintanilla has anchored, among other things, the release of no less than 18 compilation albums, including a reissue of 2002’s Ones on vinyl earlier this year. Furthermore, he has also allowed the creation of a fan-demanded cosmetics line through high-end makeup company MAC, which sold out in mere hours after its first round of availability through the brand’s official website (MAC promises to be restocked by January, 2017).
Singh says that the estate has sent Endemol a cease-and-desist letter to halt work on To Selena With Love, but that the company “rejected the letter, didn’t inquire about the terms of the Estate Properties agreement from the Estate, and said they would not refrain from production of the series.”
Sources close to the series confirmed to Forbes that they responded to Quintanilla and Selena’s estate with “full denial to the claims,” while also admitting that they would continue on with the as-of-yet unreleased television project.
Spokespersons for Endemol Shine refused to comment on Quintanilla’s claims, as has Quintanilla himself. Chris Perez, meanwhile, did seem to touch on the situation with a hopeful Facebook status update early Sunday afternoon.
“Now [is the] time to handle up, navigate through the madness, and stay positive,” the musician relayed. “Thanks to all of you for the support. I see you!”
[Featured Image by Selena La Leyenda/Twitter]