Skechers USA, Inc. has filed suit against singer Britney Spears and her companies, Britney Brands, Inc. and Britney Touring, Inc. for fraud and breach of contract. The suit, which was filed in federal court in Los Angeles, also charges Ms. Spears with unjust enrichment and negligent misrepresentation, and seeks rescission of all agreements between Skechers and Ms. Spears, return of all advances paid, reimbursement of millions of dollars in costs, and compensatory and punitive damages in excess of ten million dollars.

The suit alleges that the singer breached her obligations to Skechers under a merchandise license agreement by unreasonably delaying and failing to approve manufacturers, product designs and advertising for Britney 4 Wheelers roller skates and apparel.

“When we entered into the Britney 4 Wheelers license with Ms. Spears, we were enthusiastic about the numerous possibilities that would be available to consumers with Britney-branded roller skates and the accompanying apparel and skate accessories,” stated a Skechers spokesperson. “But when the design, approval and advertising process began, we were continuously shut down, rejected or ignored, making it nearly impossible to create and market the skate merchandise concept in time for key selling seasons.”

The complaint also alleges that Ms. Spears and her company fraudulently induced Skechers into entering into a tour sponsorship agreement as a condition to obtaining the merchandise license.

In January 2002, Skechers signed an exclusive three-year worldwide licensing agreement with Britney Spears for a line of Britney-branded 4 Wheelers roller skates, known as Britney 4 Wheelers, and a line of accompanying apparel and skate accessories.

Skechers is being represented in the lawsuit by Daniel Petrocelli of OMelveny & Myers in Los Angeles.