In an ongoing battle for a $12.7 million claim, insurance underwriters have now been granted permission to further investigate and seek evidence against the Rolling Stones. The case surrounds a series of cancelled tour dates and the mental health of Mick Jagger’s late girlfriend, L’Wren Scott.
Scott was an American fashion designer from Utah who had an intimate relationship with Jagger for 13 years. She was said to be “distraught and embarrassed” over her failing business and committed suicide this past March at the age of 49.
Following her death, Jagger was “diagnosed as suffering from acute traumatic stress disorder” and was advised by physicians not to perform for at least 30 days. This prompted the band to postpone 7 shows in Australia and New Zealand for their On Fire tour.
The Stones then filed a $12.7 million insurance claim in Utah for profits lost as a result of the postponement. This sum includes deposits on venues, transportation and storage of gear, and lost revenue from ticket sales and merchandise. With 60 trucks on hold to transport their equipment, that task alone could have cost as much as $250,000.
Prior to their tour, the group had taken out a $23.9 million policy, which was to be awarded in the event that shows were cancelled due to death of family members or other loved ones. The cost of the premium rises proportionally for each individual named, and Scott was among those listed for Jagger in the policy, along with his seven children, four grandchildren, and several others.
The court case was met with opposition and the claim was denied. According to the insurance underwriters, Scott’s death may not be covered under the policy as she could have been suffering from a pre-existing mental illness. If this were the case, it would invalidate the policy. They also alleged that Jagger had not actually been examined, stating that his claim was based only on a letter, from a doctor who is not a psychiatrist. The Stones responded by suing them in the High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division, London.
For the claim to go through, the band would have to prove that the death was unexpected and beyond their control. The underwriters stated in the lawsuit, “Ms. Scott intended to, and did, commit suicide and her death was therefore not ‘sudden and unforeseen.” In a statement shortly after her death, however, Jagger said, “I am still struggling to understand how my lover and best friend could end her life in this tragic way.”
Last month, U.S. Magistrate Judge Brook Welles in Utah granted the 12 insurance underwriters permission to gather documentation and testimony from Scott’s brother, Randall Bambrough. Local reports from The Salt Lake Tribune have indicated that the investigation with her brother is now underway. However, Bambrough stated on Thursday that he was not aware he had been named in the federal court case and had not received a subpoena to provide such evidence. The underwriters also petitioned federal court in New York for similar investigations, directed at Scott’s personal assistant, Brittany Penebre, executor of her estate, Adam Glassman, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
The Stones began a new tour of Australia and New Zealand in late October, but were forced to cancel another show on Saturday night in Melbourne for health reasons. According to an official statement from the band, Jagger is currently suffering a throat infection and is under strict orders to rest his vocal cords.