AceShowbiz - The filming of Beyonce Knowles' latest visual album "Black Is King" has resulted in a lawsuit. The R&B diva is accused of secretly shooting a video for the album at a historical site in Shelter Island without permit.
This prompted a furious local resident to launch a lawsuit against the town council for allowing the former Destiny's Child member to film at Sylvester Manor though neither the singer nor Disney applied for permission beforehand. The Shelter Island resident, Mike Gaynor, filed the lawsuit in New York Supreme Court last Wednesday, September 23. The lawsuit names the town, all of the town trustees and the Community Preservation Fund board's member as defendants.
In the court documents, Mike calls the former home of slave trader Nathaniel Sylvester a "sacred ground." While he acknowledges that Nathaniel was "top a-hole and CEO of a worldwide slave-hunting and trading operation," he insists the site demands respect because slaves were buried there.
"I have official confirmation from the town clerk that no permits were obtained," Mike tells Page Six, "I was deeply offended when I learned that The Manor took money from Disney to allow the film... on what is without argument on wholly sacred ground."
Mike, who donated $30,000 last year to the Manor, adds, "Please know that there are at least 200+ enslaved Africans and Manhasset Indians buried on their land and so that's just not a place where you film a dance-off."
Mike believes that the council was aware that Bey was going to film without permits. "There's no way they would have allowed her to turn up without knowing - I believe in fact the town did know about this and the town was signed up on an NDA so that the Manor and the town could make money," he claims.
It was reported in August that Manor staff helped choose filming locations for Bey, but she chose the site because of its important history. A source, meanwhile, says that Disney didn't have a hand in selecting the filming locations because it bought it from an independent production company.
Beyonce and Shelter Island Town Council have not responded to the lawsuit.
Bey's visual album "Black Is King" is based on the music of "The Lion King: The Gift". It premiered globally on Disney+ on July 31.