Disney execs questioned Shaggy about Bustamante Hospital days before Little Mermaid Live! show

Orville ‘Shaggy’ Burrell addressing concerns during a press conference at the Bustamante Hospital in Kingston on Monday (Photo: Dennis Brown)

Leading up to his portrayal of Sebastian the Crab in The Little Mermaid Live! show, international superstar Orville ‘Shaggy’ Burrell says he was called in by Disney executives to answer questions around his relationship with the Bustamante Hospital for Children.

“We never touched the money. Wi neva carry it nuhweh.”

— Shaggy on concert funds collected for the Bustamante Children’s Hospital

Shaggy, who was speaking at a press conference on the hospital grounds in Kingston, said it wasn’t the kind of conversation he felt he needed to have, since he and the organisation did nothing wrong.

“You can imagine how Sunday morning (Nov. 3) I get a call from my publicist while I was in LA, telling me that she spoke to a Disney publicist, telling me I have to explain this $100 million. [The article] never said Jamaican [dollars],” he told members of the media.

“Which led me into a meeting with [Disney], I explained myself and I had a great relationship and they had great faith in me. But this article came out, conveniently, three days before The Little Mermaid aired,” Shaggy smiled, masking the hurt in his voice.

Photo: Dennis Brown

“You can imagine how that affected not just the brand, but my relations moving forward,” he added.

‘Please forgive me for not answering sooner’

The conference was called as Shaggy felt full transparency was owed to the people of Jamaica, and most importantly the beneficiaries, the children, on the status of the millions his Make A Difference Foundation had collected on behalf of the hospital from the 2017 staging of the Shaggy and Friends concert.

He asked for Jamaica’s forgiveness for not responding to the concerns sooner, admitting that he had much riding on a successful performance of Sebastian.

Ariel, portrayed by Auli’i Cravalho in conversation with Shaggy as Sebastian in The Little Mermaid Live! (Photo: ABC Network)

“Forgive me for not answering as promptly to the article as you would have liked. It’s not my song, I had to learn [it] and when you’re sitting there with the head of Disney and MGM – that’s a little bit of pressure,” Shaggy said.

“Now we have the money, this [press conference] is us letting you know that money has been in the account. We never touched the money. Wi neva carry it nuhweh. The money has been there the whole time; it’s earmarked for an ICU [and] we will be turning it over to the Bustamante Hospital for Children,” he explained.

The Little Mermaid Live! show premiered amid mixed reviews on Wednesday, November 5.