Sly Stone Wins $5 Million Verdict in Lawsuit Against Former Manager and Attorney

Sly Stone Wins $5 Million Verdict
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Funk singer Sly Stone has been awarded $5 million by a Los Angeles jury in his lawsuit against a former manager and attorney he claimed diverted royalties from his music for their own benefit.

The Los Angeles Superior Court announced its verdict on Tuesday, after two days of deliberations.

Stone’s litigation, filed under his real name Sylvester Stewart, involved millions of dollars in royalties and stretched over almost five years.

He filed suit in 2010, claiming that manager Gerald Goldstein and attorney Glenn Stone in the late 1980s induced him to sign an employment and shareholder agreement with Even Street Prods., but that they instead used the arrangement to divert millions in royalties, leaving him unable to get the money he said was due him.

The jury awarded $2.5 million in damages against Even St. Productions, $2.45 million against Goldstein and $50,000 against attorney Glenn Stone.

“It was a classic case of Hollywood accounting, but I guess it would have to be called record industry accounting,” said Nick Hornberger of Hornberger Law Corp., the lead attorney for the singer.

The jury, he said, “sent a very clear message.”

Gregory Bodell of Kozberg & Bodell, lead attorney for the defendants, said via e-mail that the jury found that Sly Stone was underpaid by $2.5 million under the employment agreement with Even St. Prods., and that the money was paid instead to Goldstein and Stone.

“We are disappointed in the finding and believe it will be changed by further proceedings,” Bodell said.

Stone, whose real name is Sylvester Stewart, testified that he had not received any royalty payments between 1989 and 2000.

But attorneys for Goldstein and Glenn Stone contended that the singer was paid millions, but broke an agreement to make new records. They claim that the singer was not tricked into signing the contract, but was aware of the terms and renewed the agreement 40 times over 15 years between 1994 and 2006.

 

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  1. Judy Ridenhour says:

    Justice at last. Hope he has someone he can trust to help him manage his money. What a talent! I still play his music often. It never gets old!
    Judy ridenhour

  2. ParkerD says:

    I’m happy for him. But I predict it will be gone within 2 yrs due to his very public habits & addictions.

  3. Sue Klekowski says:

    I am glad he won his case but I wonder if any of the money he gets will be shared with former musicians he took advantage of. In the ’70s my late husband was in a backup band that travelled with Sly, the band had to sleep in their cars and call home for money for gas and food. Sly used whatever money he got for the gigs for drugs and his own personal use. When he began to sell their equipment to cover his habits most of the musicians left. So Sly is just as guilty as those who took advantage of him.

  4. Charles Rudolph says:

    Great musician. I have been following his saga. Good to see some victory for him. He deserves it.

  5. Looks like Sly can move out of his van and in to a house.

  6. JJ says:

    15 years between 1994 and 2006? WTF math!

  7. C says:

    That’s great! Hopefully George gets his next

  8. Floyd Webb says:

    $5 million is a cake walk, but I am glad he got it. Sly is a lovely spirit who was taken advantage of. But he has beat them all by staying true to himself. We love Sly out here and wish him the best. The lawyers….not so much.

  9. MARGIE HASSAN says:

    It’s about time this problem of management ripping off artists was addressed by the courts. It’s been going on too long and so many creative people have given up their talent for people to enjoy and then are unable to take care of themselves and their family. Let’s end this injustice now.

  10. WEC says:

    Bravo Sly, I hope you get every Penney they owe you. However they will more than likely appeal, and beat the dollar amount down. Thats the game you will now need to defeat. Good Luck!

  11. Bruce says:

    Sly you are Great! I love you. Give this money to a money manager like Mike Lemkin @Oppenheimer LAX and live on a safe fixed -income life style. 5 mill will get you a safe 250,000 annual income for life. Stay sober, stay happy make some music.

  12. Burt says:

    Sly was a client of mine at the time and I dealt with these guys. The verdict is true justice. I was available to testify but the attorney’s did a great job!

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