Marilyn Manson disputes $20M settlement claim by former band member
Marilyn Manson's insurance coverage will pay $175,000 to settle a lawsuit brought against him by a former member of his band, but all of the money will go to the plaintiff's attorney, a lawyer for the goth rocker said today. Stephen Bier, better known by the stage names Pogo and Madonna Wayne Gacy, brought his breach-of contract case in Los Angeles Superior Court in August 2007 against Manson, whose real name is Brian Warner.
Bier, who was seeking more than $20 million, alleged Manson used money from their former band partnership to buy items ranging from Nazi paraphernalia to a $150,000 engagement ring for ex-wife Dita Von Teese, depriving him of his partnership share. Manson's lawyer, Howard E. King, said Bier will not get any proceeds and that the settlement check will be made payable to Bier's lead attorney to cover the costs of the latter's investment in the case. King maintains the lawsuit never should have been filed. "After being dismissed from the band, Bier could have focused on resurrecting or attempting to pursue a music career,'' King said. "Instead, he devoted the last several years to complaining about Manson's alleged spending habits and extravagant behavior to anyone who would listen.''
''The resolution of the bitterly fought case with Bier receiving nothing for his spurious claims is a complete vindication of Manson,'' the attorney said. The complete resolution of the case is still dependent upon the resolution of a $72,000 lien for attorneys' fees sought by the law firm of Grodsky & Olecki, which was among numerous other named defendants. The potential snag in the settlement came Thursday when Grodsky & Olecki filed a lien for attorneys' fees stemming from their successful effort to persuade Stern to dismiss all of Bier's allegations against them in November 2007. Stern's ruling was upheld by a panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeal on June 4. The firm now wants to be paid from the settlement money. On Friday, Stern scheduled a hearing for Jan. 15 on any further motions regarding the settlement. Grodsky & Olecki represented both Bier and Manson while they were involved in previous litigation involving a third party. The allegations against the firm involved Bier's contention that it breached its duty to him with a "threat letter'' that was "a transparent attempt by Manson to frighten Bier into leaving the band,'' according to the keyboardist's court papers. But Stern agreed with the firm's lawyers that the letter was written in contemplation that Bier might file a lawsuit and was therefore protected.