Inshan Ishmael demands Cro Cro pay up

File photo: Inshan Ishmael -
File photo: Inshan Ishmael -

VALSAYN businessman Inshan Ishmael wants calypsonian Weston “Cro Cro” Rawlins to pay up.

On February 19, Ishmael’s attorneys wrote to Rawlins’s attorney Kareem Marcelle calling on his client to promptly satisfy the judgment debt against him.

Attorney Andre Cole reminded Marcelle that the court’s award of $250,000 would accrue interest from the date the judgment was delivered on January 29.

“Therefore, to avoid further haemorrhaging of costs and to bring closure to the parties, we believe it would be in the overall best interest of the administration of justice to satisfy the judgment promptly.”

Cole suggested a payment plan to cover the $313,900 total owed by Rawlins to Ishmael. Apart from the court’s award of damages, interest and legal costs, the total includes a previous payment of $17,400 in costs related to Ishmael’s successful injunction application.

The breakdown of payment suggested by Ishmael’s lawyers is $17,400, $250,000 payable to Ishmael and $46,500 payable to Cole.

Ishmael was also represented by attorneys Richard Jaggasar and Nigel Trancuso.

On January 29, Justice Frank Seepersad ruled that Rawlins defamed Ishmael in his 2023 calypso Another Sat is Outside Again.

Ishmael sued Rawlins after video recordings of the former monarch’s performance at a TUCO competition went viral.

He claimed the calypso, performed on February 5, 2023, directly named and defamed him, and his reputation was “100 per cent” damaged by the song. He also complained of a radio interview Rawlins gave in response to the lawsuit.

Although the judge deemed some aspects of the song “fair comment,” Seepersad said there were defamatory portions which were not “satire, picong or clever critique,” but “salacious and derogative.”

“The first defendant and others like him who demonstrate the desire to use calypso to divide and denigrate citizens must be deterred.”

The judge said Rawlins was no ordinary calypsonian.

“He is a former calypso monarch and his compositions have a significant impact on many citizens...

“There is power in the pen, and there is power in cultural expression, but calypsonians have to realise that there is also power in the purse, and people will be disinclined to part with their money if they are ridiculed or subjected to scorn and contempt.

“A person's reputation is not a tradable commodity, but a prized possession. It is carefully fashioned over one's lifetime and must be jealously guarded.”

Newsday was told the four-time Calypso monarch has not yet appealed Seepersad’s ruling, the deadline for which is March 11.

Immediately after Seepersad’s ruling, there were appeals by Rawlins’s supporters seeking donations to assist in the payment of his judgment debt.


"Inshan Ishmael demands Cro Cro pay up"

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