Luke Combs Explains $250K Fan Lawsuit: ‘Makes Me Sick’
Luke Combs is determined to make things right for one fan in Pinellas, Fla., after learning that his legal team is suing her for $250,000 for selling counterfeit merchandise.
Tampa, Fla.'s News Channel 8 first reported on the lawsuit on Tuesday (Dec. 12), stating that the fan, Nicol Harness, got the idea to start selling a Combs-themed tumbler after she attended a show of his in Tampa this past summer.
Harness states that she bought artwork online and sold 18 of the tumblers for $20, for a total profit of $380.
- Harness suffers from congenital heart failure. She was in the hospital when an email from Combs' legal team hit her spam email folder, informing her of the lawsuit and giving her three weeks to respond.
- When she got home from the hospital, she realized she no longer had access to the money in her Amazon storefront.
- Harness is one of several defendants in a larger counterfeit merch lawsuit in Illinois.
- A federal judge ruled that each defendant — Harness included — must pay Combs $250,000.
But Combs apparently had no idea that the lawsuit against Harness was going on, and when he realized what had happened on Wednesday morning (Dec. 13), he immediately started working to call off the suit. The singer jumped on social media just a couple of hours later to address the situation and explain that he does contract with a company that takes legal action against "large corporations operating internationally" and "illegal businesses" making huge profits off counterfeit merch.
"And apparently this woman, Nicol, has somehow gotten wrapped into that. And that makes me absolutely sick to my stomach," Combs says.
On Wednesday morning, he was able to get in touch with Harness via phone.
"I'm so apologetic, talking to her. It makes me sick, honestly, that this would happen, especially at the holidays," he continues. "I can't imagine being in her shoes."
Harness told him that she had $5500 in her Amazon storefront that she's now unable to access due to the lawsuit. "I'm gonna double that, send her $11,000 today, just so she doesn't have anything to worry about. She was never supposed to be involved in anything like this," he states. "No fan should ever have to be involved in anything like this."
That's just the beginning: In a nod to the lawsuit over tumblers, Combs says, he's going to add a tumbler of his own to his official merch store, and "all that money is gonna go to Nicol and her family to try to help with her medical bills."
The singer ends his video message by stressing once again how upset he is about the fact that the lawsuit happened at all.
"This is not something I would ever do. This is not the kind of person I am. I'm not greedy in any way, shape or form," he relates. "Money is the last thing on my mind. I promise you guys that."
More important to Combs is fan connection, and he'll be able to connect with Harness is person soon, too: The singer said he's inviting her out to a show next year.
It's not the first time that Combs has reached into his own wallet in order to treat his fans well. In 2022, in the middle of a show, he met a pair of young boys who got jobs to save up for tickets to the concert; he gave them $140 on the spot to go towards paying them back. That same fall, he refunded an entire crowd when he felt that his voice was sub-standard during a show.