[fbshare type=”button”] [tweetmeme] Rob Halford’s sacked manager is suing his former client and the rest of Judas Priest for $50m – months after he caused controversy by calling them “leaches”.
John Baxter had worked with the singer since 1982 until being dismissed after he posted comments on Halford’s website in August, calling into question the behaviour of Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton, and connecting discontent with the departure of axeman KK Downing at the end of 2010.
Baxter wrote: “We will begin removing Judas Priest related topics from websites in protest at Glenn Tipton (decision maker), Jayne Andrews (amateur thug for Glenn, can’t trust, leach), Bill Curbishley (apathetic leach) and John McBrice (unlicensed, unregistered accountant, leach) for lack of professional and ethical conduct as it relates to Rob’s business matters for much of the last six years.
“Rob will publicly deny the above, so we will take a seat next to KK Downing and watch how the Glenn and Jayne show plays out.”
Later he deleted the message saying: “I withdrew my comments for I chose not to sit on the sideline. I have resolved all matters and I will share general details once the lawyers clean up.”
Priest released a statement that read : “There has recently been some nonsense and propaganda on Rob’s site regarding the band and management. Rob currently is not controlling his site and absolutely does not agree with the comments.
“We refuse to get drawn into any public arguments. It is below us, and will be dealt with legally.
“The band have always jointly made any major decisions and have been with the same management team for over 25 years. Everyone knows and respects them in the music business and we have ultimate faith and trust in the way they have guided us.”
Baxter was sacked the following day in a lawyer’s letter which accused him of trying to prevent Halford from touring the US by withdrawing his sponsorship of the singer’s work visa.
Now the former manager says he’s owed millions as a result of breached contracts.
His attorney, Barry Rothman, tells Rolling Stone: “It was wrongful termination because there’s no basis to have terminated. They have their own agenda.
“Judas Priest was coming to an end and the Judas Priest people wanted to engage Halford in his solo endeavour, and to continue to have a relationship with him, which was not possible with Baxter in the middle.”
Entertainment lawyer Doug Mark, who has no involvement with the legal action, tells Rolling Stone that Baxter is likely to win up to $200,000 “to get rid of the nuisance lawsuit” even though there does not seem to be much evidence to back up his position.