The rapper’s former stylist seeks US$30mil (RM96mil) in the dispute.

A celebrity hair stylist has accused rapper and former American Idol judge Nicki Minaj of stealing his designs for the colourful wigs that helped boost her career, according to a federal lawsuit filed on Friday seeking US$30mil in compensation.

Terrence Davidson, whose celebrity clients include singers Patti LaBelle and Jennifer Hudson, began working for Minaj in 2010 and designed her wigs for high-profile events worldwide, the suit filed in Atlanta, Georgia said.

The rapper also wore Davidson-designed wigs in a music video for the song Super Bass, according to the lawsuit. One of Minaj’s best-known wigs is called the “Pink Upper Bun”. Davidson, 41, said he and Minaj’s staff discussed a joint business venture that would include selling wigs and creating a reality television show about a celebrity wig stylist.

But the performer and her representatives in 2012 “took active steps to isolate Mr Davidson and preclude him from the notoriety he deserved for his wig designs,” the lawsuit said.

Davidson stopped working for Minaj more than a year ago, and now the pop star is copying his wig designs and selling them online, he alleged.

Minaj “took a number of his popular wig designs, without his consent, and used them to start her own wig line,” said the lawsuit.

Davidson’s representatives claim it is the first-ever intellectual property dispute over wigs. A spokesperson for Minaj could not immediately be reached for comment.

Minaj, who also is known for her extravagant stage performances, won the American Music Awards’ favourite rap/hip-hop artiste and rap/hip-hop album of the year for Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded in 2012. — Reuters