Vince Neil, former lead singer for heavy metal band Motley Crue, is seeking a court declaration that he is, and has been entitled to remain, lead singer despite being fired by the other three band members last February.

Neil’s suit, filed in L.A. Superior Court, also seeks damages of at least $ 5 million for breach of contract and defamation from Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee and Mick Mars and their Motley Crue Touring Inc. and Motley Crue Intl. Inc. Neil was replaced by vocalist Jon Bush.

The alleged defamation came in a press release issued by the band last February and a series of statements since then in which the defendants said Neil voluntarily left the band, that he did not participate in songwriting, that he had misappropriated money from other band members and that race car driving had become a “priority” in his life.

Neil, in his suit, says that he helped write approximately 18 of the band’s songs, that he was fired and excluded from the band, that race car driving was only a hobby, and that he did not misappropriate money. He also denied statements by the other band members that he was lackadaisical and not passionately committed to his music.

The suit also seeks a declaration that Neil was wrongfully terminated and is entitled to 25% of the group’s touring income plus unspecified punitive damages.

Neil announced that he has formed the Vince Neil Band with guitarist Steve Stevens, Ozzy Osbourne bassist Phil Soussan, former Enuff Z’nuff drummer Vicki Foxx and guitarist Robbie Crane. The group was signed to Warner Bros. Records and will begin recording later this month with producer Ron Nevison.

Neil said the album will be issued on Feb. 10, the date of his Motley Crue dismissal.

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