The legendary Sly Stone was awarded $5 million in a breach-of-contract lawsuit. The funk legend claimed his business partners and his own production company cheated him out of royalties. Stone’s lawsuit was filed against his former manager Gerald Goldstein, attorney Glenn Stone, and Even St. Productions. On Tuesday, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury ruled in favor of the recording artist. One of Stone’s attorneys, Nicholas Hornberger, released a statement to the media in regards to the lawsuit. “It’s a good day for Sly, it’s a good day for entertainers in general.” Hornberger added, “This was an important verdict for people that are artists, entertainers, music composers, etc.” His lawyers said the Sly and the Family Stone frontman’s career was ruined when he was convinced to join Even St. Productions.
Goldstein and Glenn persuaded Stone to join them as an employee and co-owner of the production company in 1989. Stone allowed the production company to receive rights to his royalties, and they were supposed to give him a portion of the money. Due to Goldstein and Glenn Stone’s “shady” accounting tactics, Stone did not receive any of his royalties. Hornberger said, “They met him, they signed him up…but what they really wanted was his royalties.” Goldstein and Glenn Stone’s attorney, Gregory Bodell, argued that Stone approached his clients in order for them to revitalize his career. Stone was supposed to make comeback records, but he never recorded them. Bodell also argued that his clients were never seeking Stone’s royalties because he didn’t have any royalties.
Attorney Bodell said Stone was not allotted royalties because he owed millions to the Internal Revenue Service. Stone testified that he had not received any royalty payment from Even St. Productions between 1989 and 2000. Bodell claims Goldstein and Glenn Stone helped pay off Stone’s IRS debt. He also claims his clients renegotiated Stone’s royalty issues with other record labels, and they obtained as much as $9 million dollars for the recording artist. Jurors deliberated and assessed $2.5 million in damages against Even St. Productions, 2.45 million against Goldstein, and $50,000 against Glenn Stone. In 2013, Even St. Productions filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.