Boy George ‘conspired to defraud’ his former band member Culture Club out of nearly a quarter of a million dollars, he is alleged in a High Court battle over the band’s tour money.
Drummer Jon Moss is taking legal action against the band’s lead singer, guitarist Roy Hay and bassist Michael Craig, after they were allegedly ‘fired’ by their manager in September 2018 after 37 years of ‘service’.
Culture Club was formed in the 1980s and has sold tens of millions of records. They are best known for their hits Do You Really Want to Hurt Me and Karma Chameleon.
Mr Moss claims he is owed an ‘outstanding balance’ of $246,000.17 (£188,000) under the terms of a group agreement reached over the operation of his 2018 Life Tour.
Details of the pending case emerged on Monday during a preliminary High Court hearing held remotely before a judge, Deputy Master Marc Glover.
Culture Club members did not appear on the video link during the proceedings.
During a three-hour hearing, the judge granted a request by Mr Moss’ lawyer, Celia Rooney, to change the details of her claim and join two companies linked to Boy George in the affair.
Boy George – whose real name is George O’Dowd – Mr Craig and Mr Hay have yet to file an amended defense to Mr Moss’ new claims, but it appears from draft court documents that they dispute his claim regarding the outstanding money.
According to a draft court document, the agreement between the band members – dubbed the ‘deal memo’ – meant that each would receive a royalty of $600,000 (£458,000) for up to 80 gigs on the Life Tour.
Mr Moss initially launched a legal action seeking a declaration from the court that the outstanding balance was held for him by the Performing Arts Agency (APA), acting as its agent.
Ms Rooney said in written submissions that the group’s booking agent agreed not to release it without Mr Moss’s consent or a court order.
But she explained that Mr Moss later learned that the remaining funds had been paid to a US company, You Give Me Life, Inc (YGML), following the settlement of legal proceedings in America in January 2021.
YGML and another English company, Other Places Drama LLP (OPD), had sued APA in California, claiming it was entitled to the money it held, Ms Rooney said.
Ms Rooney said it was a “direct breach of assurances” given by the APA and that Mr Moss had not been involved in the US proceedings.
She told the court on Monday that Boy George was the sole “officer” of YGML and one of two “appointed members” of the OPD in which he holds 75% of the voting rights.
Ms Rooney argued that the US lawsuits involving these “personal services companies” could only have been brought with the knowledge of Boy George or by people acting on his behalf.
In written submissions, she said that meant Mr Moss had been ‘effectively coerced’ into re-litigating his case where Boy George allegedly ‘conspired to defraud the plaintiff of nearly a quarter of a million dollars which makes the object of these proceedings”. ”.
She noted that the knowledge that MM. Craig and Hay had of the question of the procedure in the United States was unknown.
Mr. Moss is now seeking to allege that Boy George, YGML and/or OPD, allegedly breached the “deal memo” previously made on the Life Tour, acted dishonestly with respect to US settlement and entered into a conspiracy. to defraud Mr. Moss out of money he still believes is owed to him.
A new preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for May 3.