Sly Stone claims ex-manager cost him $80 million

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Sly Stone claims ex-manager cost him $80 million

Fri Jan 29, 2010 @ 11:02AM PST

By Eriq Gardner

Slystone It's not uncommon for a musicians to accuse their managers of cheating them out of money, but few complaints come close to the scope of allegations made by funk and soul pioneer Sly Stone against ex-manager Gerald Goldstein on Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

According to the complaint, Stone alleges that Goldstein diverted about $80 million in royalties, leaving him "to live hand to mouth, at times homeless and dependent on social security payments."

Stone says that in 1989, he signed what he believed to be a standard management agreement, but the document was allegedly a contract allowing Goldstein to take over all the rights to collect his royalties. For the next 20 years, the musician says he was told there were little or no royalties due and that the IRS had placed liens and levies on his income.
The complaint goes on to allege that Goldstein engaged in a scheme to borrow money from (co-defendant) Mercantile National Bank against Stone's future royalties and that Goldstein created a variety companies to purchase and hold real property.
Here's the entire complaint, which includes 19 causes of action and the 1989 employment agreement as evidence.

Stone seeks damages from Goldstein, a variety of trusts, and a few music industry giants including Sony Music, Warner/Chappell, BMI, and Soundexchange.

He is repped by Robert Allan, Rod Rummelsburg and Stella Wei-Ying Yap at Malibu's Allan Law Group.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to

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