Culture Club pay dispute set to go to trial

Culture Club's Roy Hay, Boy George, Jon Moss and Michael Craig in 2014

Culture Club's Roy Hay, Boy George, Jon Moss and Michael Craig in 2014 - Credit: PA/Ian West

Efforts to settle a legal fight between Culture Club bandmates over the group’s tour money have “not been fruitful” amid a “considerable lack of trust and goodwill”, the High Court has heard.

Jon Moss is bringing a legal challenge against lead singer Boy George, guitarist Roy Hay and bassist Michael Craig, after allegedly being “expelled” by their manager in September 2018 after 37 years playing together.

The Hampstead drummer argues he is owed an “outstanding balance” of 246,000.17 dollars (£188,000) under the terms of a band agreement reached over the operation of its 2018 Life Tour.

The bandmates have attempted mediation “without any sign of success” ahead of a possible six-day trial where the value of the name Culture Club and the profits made by the band since Mr Moss’s alleged “expulsion” will be considered, the court was told.

Mr Moss’s barrister, Celia Rooney, told a hearing on Tuesday: “The claimant is not adverse to further settlement in this case of course. We remain open to the potential of settlement.”

But she said there was a “considerable lack of trust and good will” between the parties.

The hearing came after Mr Moss amended his legal case to allege that Boy George, who also has a home in Hampstead, “conspired to defraud” him out of the nearly a quarter of a million dollars.

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The case revolves around Mr Moss's claim that a “deal memo” meant each band member would receive a fee of 600,000 dollars (£458,000) for up to 80 concerts.

The claim involves settlement of legal proceedings in America in January 2021 and Boy George's involvement in US firm You Give Me Life and English company English company Other Places Drama LLP, which are also defendants in the UK case.

Boy George – whose real name is George O’Dowd – Mr Craig and Mr Hay are yet to file a formal defence, but it is understood from court documents that they dispute the claim to the outstanding money.

Boy George issued a statement after the March hearing accusing Mr Moss of making a “personal attack on me” and “the most unfounded and hurtful allegations”.

“His allegations that I conspired to defraud him are entirely untrue and will be defended in the High Court in London,” he added.

A trial is expected to begin in March or April next year.