AceShowbiz - Rapper The Game has taken a big hit to his bank account after losing an appeal in his long-running legal spat with a contestant on his VH1 dating show, "She's Got Game".
Lawmakers at the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals have ordered the "Dreams" hitmaker to pay $7.1 million in damages to Priscilla Rainey, who accused him of sexual assault.
A jury previously found The Game, real name Jayceon Taylor, liable for sexual battery in connection with an off-camera incident in 2015, during which he's alleged to have repeatedly lifted the plaintiff's skirt and groped her. She launched her complaint against him in August, 2015 after confronting the rap star about the incident on camera.
"Taylor did not take the litigation seriously," Circuit Judge T.K. Sykes wrote in his summary of the appeals court decision, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. "He evaded process, trolled Rainey on social media, dodged a settlement conference, and did not bother to show up at trial."
The jury awarded Rainey over $1.1 million in compensatory damages and another $6 million in punitive damages back in November 2016, and Taylor requested a new trial and also asked the judge to reconsider the damages award.
U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman denied the motions and Taylor appealed. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judges ruled Feinerman made the right call on Thursday, October 17.
"The judge carefully considered the entire record and made a reasonable judgment that Taylor was unjustifiably absent," Judge Sykes adds. "Taylor was in complete control of his own appearance at trial. His choice to stay away for the duration of the trial carried consequences, one of which was the likelihood that the judge would give a missing-witness instruction. The judge was on solid ground in giving this instruction."
The appeals panel also ruled the damages awarded to Rainey were reasonable.