If I were to choose my personal favorite actress out of Nollywood, Nigeria’s film industry (2nd largest in the world in terms of film production), it would have to be A-list Actress Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde. She is beautiful, highly talented, versatile, seemingly respectful to fans, media and colleagues alike, and really does not walk around with a chip on her shoulder. Also, she is a mother of four and has managed to stay very relevant within and outside Africa’s film industry circles. Add her charity work and sense of style and she really is #1 in my book in terms of actresses from Nollywood. Now, let’s get to the issue at hand, which I really have an issue with.
Disclosure: In my capacity as a publisher at Ladybrille, I have dealt with Omotola’s public relations company, Big Sam. In that capacity, I have been unequivocally clear that they do not send me press releases as their releases are not only amateurish but, at times, also contain factual misrepresentations that creates a credibility and reliability issue.
This current release, not sent to me, but sent to media houses and published online, is really PR gone VERY wrong. In normal circumstances in the USA, at least, it would amount to gross negligence and cause for a lawsuit against the PR company. I would have ignored this release but for the fact that it has my buzz word, “lawsuit” and “sue.” It also directly affects an actress I actually think is quite cool.
Here is the gist of the suit. Omotola, a mother of four is allegedly accused of infidelity by Nigeriafilms.com. Here in the USA, that might be no big deal, maybe. In Nigeria, given: 1) Omotola’s wholesome and likeable public image and 2) the fact that she is a mother of four, the PR team had to quench the rumor right where it started.
They did their reasoning and concluded a press release was the way to go. Now, this is where I start having problems with what Big Sam stated in the press release.
“The Big Fat Lie of Nigeriafilms.com on Omotola Jalade Ekeinde”
“Our attention has been drawn to one big fat lie published on the very notorious and credibility-deficient website, www.nigeriafilms.com about our client, Mrs. Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, a highly respectable Nollywood actress.
In the said damaging report that is being examined by our lawyer, the website claimed Mrs. Ekeinde is having a sizzling and immoral relationship with Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, CEO of Sifax based on the fact that www.nigeriafilms.com sights her regularly at the Apapa office of Dr. Afolabi.
It is a big fat lie that Mrs. Ekeinde frequents the office of Dr.
Afolabi, the major reason given for the said romance. She has NEVER
being to the said office at all.
Secondly, the Ekeindes and the Afolabis are family friends. Members of the families do exchange visits. Members of the Afolabi family do visit the Iba home of the Ekeinde often while the Ekeindes do the same. Captain Matthew Ekeinde and Dr. Afolabi are particularly fond of each other and do discuss at length when occasion permits. The last time Mrs. Ekeinde was at the Afolabi’s house was when she had a meeting with MRS. AFOLABI on participating in the highly publicized, Gaga4Fashion organized by the Afolabi’s children.
It is an open knowledge that the families of Ekeinde and Afolabi have a long standing relationship and Capt. Ekeinde is particularly close to Dr. Afolabi.
This report is a hatchet job by Nigeriafilms and we have detailed our legal team to start legal proceedings against the website that has notoriety for plagiarism and is known not to have a single reporter based in Nigeria, the major country it covers.
Nigeriafilms claimed it could not reach Omotola to confirm the story. Our firm, Bigsam Media and the website have a long standing relationship and open channel of communication; no representative of the website tried to contact us via phone or email. It is worrisome to note that a top executive of the website still spoke to our CEO on Monday concerning an advert deal we have with the website. No issue of Omotola was raised there or afterwards.
For Nigeriafilms, we are not surprised at this brazen disregard for ethics of the noble profession, journalism and total disrespect for decency. The website has never been known for anything decent. It is a known fact that the website copy and pastes stories from other respectable websites without giving credit.
It is this same website that published a false story on an actor contracting HIV only for it to publish a rejoinder weeks after saying ‘sorry’ for the misinformation.
This same website published several apologies concerning a story on another top actress for alleging she was involved in lesbianism. The company’s former reporter left the organization due to the fact that the website only wants false and negative stories on Nigerian celebs.
We are not saying online journals should not do its job of reporting but we should endeavor to do our job within the line of decency and respect for the noble profession, journalism.
Nigeriafilms should learn from other respectable online journals that have been able to earn respect due to the professional way they conduct business.
This website thrives on the fact that it is not based in Nigeria so it has perceptual immunity to damage reputation and still escapes the arms of the law. This time around, we are ready for them. They have bitten more than they can chew.
Thanks for your understanding and please note that our lines are open for enquiries.
PR & THE LAW
I am of the opinion that this press release is so offensive, ridiculous and amounts to gross negligence. For a paid PR firm,I don’t know where to begin. Here is a PR firm saying Nigeriafilms.com is and has done all these terrible things and is known for all these horrible bad acts including publishing false HIV stories, lesbianism, plagiarism, intellectual property violations, bad faith, defamation, among other things. YET, and the rest gets capitalized. YET, THIS PR FIRM PROCEEDED TO CONTACT, NEGOTIATE AND HAVE “AN ADVERT DEAL” WITH THE SITE????!!! Like are they for real? Even if they did, they mention that in the same breath with a press release for their client that totally undermines their allegations that this site is not credible??! Who does that?
Seriously folks, celebrities and celebrity hopefuls, businesses, individuals in fashion and entertainment, do your due diligence before you hire a PR firm. This is unacceptable.
PR firm, you can get sued for this type of gross negligence, especially if you are a USA company.
DEFAMATION ANALYSIS, See Shirley Sherrod case.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST LAWS, See Leila Djansi v. Ghana Celebrities.com
Fashionentlaw™ is the brainchild of Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak), an ex-fashion model and industry veteran turned Fashion and Entertainment lawyer. The law blog discusses hot topics in pop culture arising primarily out of the fashion industry.
As a legal practitioner, Ms. Uduak has seventeen years of experience counseling individuals and businesses within and outside the creative community. She has counseled designers, apparel manufacturers, models, photographers, retailers, graphic designers, musicians, public relations specialists, and athletes, among others, on diverse legal issues including business formation, licensing, trademark and copyright matters, contracts, intellectual property and contract disputes.
To arrange a consultation to discuss your case, contact her today at 916-361-6506 or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).