Sly Stone Wins Millions In Lawsuit After Being Nearly Homeless: Legendary funkmeister extraordinaire Sly Stone, the former front man of the iconic ’60s/’70s group Sly and the Family Stone, has struck it rich, after reportedly being awarded $5 million by a Los Angeles jury due to a lawsuit he filed back in 2010 against his ex-manager, Gerald Goldstein, and entertainment attorney, Glenn Stone. The lawsuit accused Stone’s former business associates of diverting and misappropriating royalties that had been owed to him for more than 20 years, according to Yahoo! News.
The 71-year-old vocalist and musician, whose actual name is Sylvester Stewart, was reportedly living in a van, penniless, addicted to cocaine, and with electricity provided by a family in Crenshaw, Calif. According to court documents, Goldstein reportedly talked Stone into signing over all of his royalties to a company that was handpicked by him for tax reasons. At the time, Stone thought he was making a savvy move that Goldstein sanctioned.
But Stone was dead wrong!
Goldstein wound up conning Stone and a jury agreed.
Meanwhile, Goldstein, a former musician himself and ex-member of the famed ’60s rock band The Strangeloves, has been reportedly living quite large with Stone’s royalties and even invested in a few luxury real estate properties.
Goldstein’s lawyer, Gregory Bodell argued, though, that Stone broke a 1988 agreement that he would revitalize his career and produce new music. The attorney claimed Stone was given millions of dollars during his stint with both Goldstein and Glenn.
However, the jury did not buy Bodell’s argument and voted to award Stone the monies that are due to him.
Nicholas Hornberger, one of Stone’s attorneys, stated after the verdict that his client’s case is a perfect example of how many celebrities are fleeced by the very same people they hire and trust to monitor their interests, “They just wanted to punch this poor guy in the face,” Hornberger said about his client’s former associates.
Stone’s damages were assessed as follows: $2.5 million were to be paid to the musician by Even St. Productions, an entertainment company formed by Glenn and Goldstein, and Goldstein has to dole out $2.45 million to his former client, with Glenn paying more than $50,000 to Stone.[Article includes photos of Sly & the band].
By Ruth Manuel-Logan
[Editor’s note: Double-check the help you hire. And read those contracts yourself as well as having an outside lawyer go over them. The contracts are easy to read – just do one sentence or one paragraph at a time until you’re sure you understand what the sentence said. And watch out for the things that are NOT IN the contract – that’s where problems lie.]
Hornberger said the jury would have been justified in awarding even more money. He said the case illustrated how many artists in the music business, as well as the film industry, are victimized by the people who they trust to look after their interests.
Gregory Bodell, the attorney for Goldstein and Glenn Stone, said the performer approached his clients to revitalize his career and promised to make comeback records that he never recorded.
His clients weren’t seeking the performer’s royalties because he didn’t have any, in part because he owed millions to the Internal Revenue Service, Bodell said.
Sly Stone testified that he had not received any royalty payments between 1989 and 2000.
But Bodell said his clients helped to pay off the IRS, renegotiated royalty issues with record companies and over 20 years obtained millions of dollars in royalties for the performer — perhaps as much as $9 million.
Jurors assessed $2.5 million in damages against Even St. Productions, $2.45 million against Goldstein and $50,000 against Glenn Stone.
Bodell said the award will be challenged.
Even St. Productions filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2013. A message left for a lawyer representing the company was not immediately returned.
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‘GLEE’S (and COLORADO’s) MELISSA BENOIST WILL PLAY ‘SUPERGIRL’
CBS has found its “Supergirl.” Actress Melissa Benoist has been cast in the lead role of the upcoming drama, which is executive produced by Greg Berlanti (“Arrow,” “Everwood”) and Ali Adler (“Chuck”).
Benoist has busted onto the Hollywood scene in recent years with roles on “Glee” and in Damien Chazelle’s breakout indie film “Whiplash,” which was nominated last week for the Academy Award for Best Picture. She has also appeared in guest starring roles in dramas including “Homeland” and “The Good Wife.”
In the show, Benoist will reportedly play Kara Zor-El, a Krypton-hailing young woman who has kept her powers hidden while growing up on Earth. The series will explore what happens when, at the age of 24, Kara finally begins to embrace her superhero destiny.
The Huffington Post | By Lily Karlin
[Editor’s note: In case you don’t remember, Melissa is from Littleton!]