Former Mötley Crüe guitarist Mick Mars has filed a lawsuit against the band over his share of profits.
Mars has alleged that he was “unilaterally” removed from the band after announcing his retirement from touring due to ongoing struggles with an arthritic disease called ankylosing spondylitis last October. As a result, he claims his profit share was cut from 25 per cent to five percent.
According to legal papers filed in Los Angeles County’s Superior Court yesterday (April 6) Mars’ attorney, Edwin F. McPherson, says the band deliberately withheld information about the various Motley Crue businesses that he has a 25 per cent ownership share in, reports Variety.
The guitarist has alleged the band demanded he sign a severance agreement that would divest him of those and other future interests, in return for a 5 per cent stake in the group’s 2023 tour, which is going on without him.
The filing further alleges that the group – particularly Nikki Sixx – had a pattern of belittling Mars for years, telling him he had cognitive issues and insulting him about alleged poor playing on tour, including the stadium outing he completed with the band last year.
Mars also alleges that the other members of the group engaged in partial or complete miming on that tour, saying that he was the only one performing completely live from the top to bottom of each show.
In response, Sasha Frid, the band’s litigation lawyer said: “Mick’s lawsuit is unfortunate and completely off-base. In 2008, Mick voted for and signed an agreement in which he and every other band member agreed that ‘in no event shall any resigning shareholder be entitled to receive any monies attributable to live performances (i.e., tours).’”
Frid added: “Equally unfortunate are his claims about the band’s live performances. Mötley Crüe always performs its songs live, but during the last tour, Mick struggled to remember chords, played the wrong songs and made constant mistakes which led to his departure from the band. There are multiple declarations from the band’s crew attesting to his decline.
“The band did everything to protect him (and) tried to keep these matters private to honour Mick’s legacy and take the high road. Unfortunately, Mick chose to file this lawsuit to badmouth the band. The band feels empathy for Mick, wishes him well and hopes that he can get better guidance from his advisers who are driven by greed.”
The case comes after former Mötley Crüe singer John Corabi recently raised doubts over Mars’ retirement from the band.
Corabi expressed scepticism over the reasoning behind Mars’ exit, instead suggesting the guitarist was “shown the door” by his bandmates.
Following his exit, the band replaced Mars with Rob Zombie‘s guitarist, John 5, for their tour.