21 March 2023

Culture Club bandmates to pay £1.75m to ex-drummer as High Court trial dropped

21 March 2023

Culture Club founding member Jon Moss will be paid £1.75 million by his former bandmates after a High Court battle over the group’s profits was resolved a week before trial.

The drummer had previously brought legal action against the band’s lead singer Boy George, guitarist Roy Hay and bassist Michael Craig, after allegedly being “expelled” by their manager in September 2018 after 37 years playing together.

A six-day trial due to start next week was set to determine the value of the Culture Club name, the profits made by the band since Mr Moss’s alleged expulsion, and the amount he might be entitled to receive.

But a court order issued on Tuesday said that the group had agreed that a judgment should be made in favour of Mr Moss, with his ex-bandmates required to pay him £1.75 million immediately.

The order approved by Mrs Justice Joanna Smith said that Mr Moss had agreed to “relinquish” any right to the Culture Club name and its use, including in connection with concerts and merchandise.

The High Court previously heard that the band had settled a dispute over whether there was a “continuing partnership” since the formation of Culture Club – a group best known for hits such as Do You Really Want To Hurt Me and Karma Chameleon – with Boy George, Mr Hay and Mr Craig conceding there was until Mr Moss’s departure.

The now abandoned trial expected next week was due to consider the outstanding issues of the value of the Culture Club name and the profits made by the band since Mr Moss’s alleged expulsion.

The trial was also due to cover Mr Moss’s additional claim to an “outstanding balance” of 246,000.17 dollars (£201,000) under the terms of a band agreement reached over the operation of its 2018 Life Tour.

Boy George – whose real name is George O’Dowd – Mr Craig and Mr Hay were all previously defending against the claims.

Last year, the court was told that Mr Moss was amending his legal challenge to include allegations that Boy George “conspired to defraud” him over the Life Tour money, after he learnt that funds were released 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) – both said to be Boy George’s personal service companies – had brought proceedings against Agency for the Performing Arts (APA) in California claiming to be entitled to the money it held.

Mr Moss had originally launched litigation seeking a court declaration that the outstanding balance money was being held for him by APA, acting as his agent.

The drummer claimed that Boy George, YGML and/or OPD, were allegedly in breach of the “deal memo” that he said meant each band member would receive a fee of 600,000 dollars (£491,000) for up to 80 concerts on the Life Tour.

Boy George previously accused Mr Moss of making a “personal attack on me” and “the most unfounded and hurtful allegations”, which were “entirely untrue”.

The court was also previously told that Mr Moss had racked up £1 million in legal costs, with his lawyers accusing his former bandmates of appearing  “determined to keep (him) out of sums to which he is entitled, reflecting decades of service for the band, for as long as possible”.

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