Tyrese‘s latest legal battle involves beloved R&B legend Teddy Pendergrass.

The Fast & Furious star’s production company, Voltron Entertainment, is suing Pendergrass’ widow, Joan, for at least $1 million to obtain the rights to the singer’s biopic, TMZ reported.

The media outlet obtained documents with Tyrese claiming Voltron secured the exclusive rights to Pendergrass’ life story in 2011. Tyrese claims that Joan gave her blessing in exchange for his production company investing in the projects and using “his celeb status to promote them and Teddy’s legacy.”

According to TMZ, the lawsuit claims that Tyrese and Voltron have invested approximately $450,000 so far. Tyrese also states that in 2022, Joan retracted her offer to extend the rights to her deceased husband’s life story. Tyrese posted to Instagram, explaining the issue.

“Did you hear what I just heard? Sadly things had to come to this…. Another Philadelphia legend Lee Daniels is attached direct me as Teddy…” he began his post. “This has been 13 years+ years in the makin this man embraced me when he was on this earth and shared to me ‘No one can play me in my biopic but you Tyrese I’m sure of it.'”


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“Hearing those words coming from him as one could imagine put me in under an unbearable amount of pressure but I knew that I was BORN to play Teddy Pendergrass,” Tyrese continued. “The first person I called was my mother RIP and shared the news she’s SCREAMED!!!! My mother was the BIGGEST TEDDY PENDERGRASS FAN ON EARTH! She couldn’t believe it….”

After several more lengthy paragraphs, Tyrese ended his caption by telling his followers that Joan is “the ONLY one standing in the way of Teddy’s story being told!” before encouraging them to check out a 2018 documentary about Pendergrass’ life and career titled, Teddy Pendergrass: If You Don’t Know Me.

As Blavity reported, in 2011, Gibson first expressed his desire to play Pendergrass before announcing that he had acquired the rights the next year.

“I have officially secured the life rights to the life story of Teddy Pendergrass, my inspiration,” he tweeted at the time. “This movie will be made…”

All was quiet until 2019 when Tyrese posted an Instagram clip about a successful pitch meeting for the film. He concluded the celebratory post, which included Lee Daniels, Donald Deline and Warner Brothers executives, with “To [God’ be ALL the glory!!!”


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The lawsuit states that Joan’s decision to retract her agreement has resulted in a financial loss for Voltron. Tyrese is going after her as both an individual and executor of Pendergrass’ estate with damages totaling over seven figures.