LAS VEGAS (CN) – Motley Crue front-man Vince Neil sued his former manager for $30 million, claiming he mismanaged Neil’s career, stole his money and capitalized on his 12-year bout with alcoholism following the death of his 4-year-old daughter. Neil says Burt Stein “was an enabler of Neil’s substance dependency” who “made sure that Neil remained in a perpetual intoxicated state” for his own gain.
“Millions of dollars in payments and proceeds that Neil received for his concerts, performances, special appearances, book and merchandising deals from 1996 until 2008 are missing and unaccounted for,” according to the lawsuit in Clark County Court.
“Stein knew that if he kept Neil intoxicated, Stein could do as he pleased,” according to the complaint. To that end, Stein allegedly hired his own accountant friend to “bypass the regular controls associated with legitimate accounting firms.” All money from Neil’s performances went directly to Stein, Neil says, and whatever was left went to Neil, who claims he never was told how much he earned.
Neil says he fell into depression and alcoholism after his 4-year-old daughter died of cancer in 1995. “This is when Stein moved in,” Neil claims.
From 1996 onward, Stein allegedly “undertook a complete domination of Neil’s career, finances and decision making,” beginning by directing Neil to declare bankruptcy in 1996 “as a means to wipe the slate clean now that he was in charge.”
Neil claims Stein extended their contract for five additional years in 2001 after Neil had “consumed a copious amount of alcohol.” He says Stein and Neil were drunk in 2006 when Stein pulled out the extended contract for Neil to sign, which he did.
Stein, realizing that the contract extension was invalid because Neil was drunk when he signed it, later drafted a new agreement, dated it after Neil left rehab in 2007, and forged Neil’s signature, the lawsuit states.
In March 2007, Neil’s wife staged an intervention in Las Vegas. But “Stein did not want to attend this intervention – a sober Neil was not in his best interests – but was forced to attend by Neil’s wife,” the lawsuit states.
Neil entered rehab, and left in April 2007 “healthy and with a clarity that he had been missing for years. He became clean and sober, and concentrated on his music career once again.”
Neil later fired Stein. Stein then filed a lawsuit against Neil and the band’s manager in Nashville Federal Court.
Neil is represented by Martin Kravitz of Kravitz Schnitzer.
Here is Courthouse News’ Dec. 12 story on the Nashville lawsuit.
Motley Crue Managers Take it to Court
By Liz Potocsnak
NASHVILLE (CN) – Motley Crue lead singer Vince Neil’s longtime manager has sued the band’s manager, claiming he persuaded Neil to breach a management agreement that was to run until 2012. Neil’s ex-manager, Burton Stein, claims Allen Kovac has been trying to squeeze him out since 2004.
Stein and his company, B Entertainment, claim they cut a deal with Kovac in 1996, when the band decided to reunite. Kovac, who manages the heavy metal band through his defendant company Tenth Street Entertainment, has worked with the band’s guitar player, Mick Mars, and bass player, Nikkie Sixx, for years. Stein says that Kovac has been pressuring Neil to get rid of Stein since 2004.
But Stein says Neil renewed his exclusive management with him in April 2007, promising him 15 percent of his gross compensation.
In March this year, the band cut a multi-million dollar deal to tour with Live Nation, but Stein says he has not seen his share of the money. He says Kovac’s lawyer sent him a letter attempting to terminate his agreement with Neil.
Stein’s federal complaint claims that he never received a reply to letter he sent through his attorney, which began: “As you apparently were not aware for some reason the … agreement has a term of five (5) years.”
Stein claims that Neil still wants him to work as his manager. He seeks declaratory judgment validating the 2007 management agreement and commissions owed. He demands damages for breach of contract, and tortious interference.
He is represented by Samuel Lipshie and Colin Carnahan with Boult, Cummings, Conners & Berry.