- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 25, 2010

BALTIMORE (AP) - A Maryland judge has ordered R&B singer Ne-Yo and his booking agent to pay more than $156,000 in damages because the performer failed to appear at a 2008 New Year’s Eve concert in Washington state.

Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Philip Caroom ordered the payment Tuesday after a four-day trial in late July and early August.

Promoter Kenyohn Clark sued Ne-Yo, whose real name is Shaffer Smith, and promoter Mike Esterman, who is based in Maryland. The judge ruled in favor of Clark, who claimed that Esterman misled him and failed to return a $95,000 deposit.

Court documents show Ne-Yo testified at trial that he knew in his “heart of hearts” that the deposit should have been returned.

Jason Brino, Clark’s attorney, says his client was “basically public enemy No. 1” after the botched concert and abandoned the promotion business to take a job as a military contractor. Attorneys for Ne-Yo and Esterman did not respond to messages seeking comment.