Jay-Z spent Tuesday afternoon answering federal investigators’ questions about the 2007 sale of his Rocawear apparel brand.
The rapper and businessman, real name Shawn Carter, was filmed by a cameraman from CNBC News entering the New York offices of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
He was ordered by U.S. District Judge to attend the deposition to answer questions about a deal he signed with executives at the Iconix Brand Group, who purchased his clothing company for $200 million .
Iconix bosses are under investigation for allegedly violating federal securities laws in their financial reporting of Rocawear’s accounts, and authorities wanted to speak to the hip-hop mogul to provide information about what he knows of their business practices.
Judge Paul Gardephe ruled Jay, 48, must testify for at least one full day, noting it would still allow the hitmaker to “go on about his business” – and said he would order further depositions if SEC agents deemed them necessary.
The rapper’s lawyer Alex Spiro had objected to the prospect of a longer deposition, insisting his client was too busy preparing for his joint tour with his wife Beyonce, to dedicate more time to the investigation.
The case relates to a $169 million write-down in Rocawear’s value in March 2016 and another drop earlier this year, when Iconix chiefs announced they were taking another $34 million off the market price of their asset.
SEC officials have previously said that their desire to question Jay “does not reflect a determination” that he “has violated provisions of the federal securities laws at issue in the investigation”.
Meanwhile, Tidal, the music streaming company he part owns, could face its own legal problems after allegations published in a Norwegian newspaper claimed executives inflated the plays and royalties of albums by Beyonce and Kanye West. Tidal bosses deny the allegations – but several of the country’s musicians have made a complaint to the police..