GUNS N' ROSES frontman Axl Rose has issued the following press release via his attorney, Howard Weitzman, Esq.:
"W. Axl Rose, on Friday March 3, 2006 responded to one of Saul 'Slash' Hudson's baseless lawsuits by filing a counterclaim asking the Federal Court to confirm his ownership of his own creative works. Slash and Michael 'Duff' McKagan had previously filed cases both in Federal Court and in the Los Angeles Superior Court making numerous false allegations about Axl. Mr. Rose believes that once apprised of the true facts the Judge or Jury deciding these lawsuits will rule in Axl's favor on every issue before them.
"More surprising to Axl are recent media reports that Slash (Saul Hudson) is claiming that he has always been supportive of Axl Rose and the new GUNS N' ROSES. Slash's actions in recent years have in fact been anything but supportive. Besides the lawsuits filed against Axl Rose, claiming, among other things, that Axl does not own the copyright in the songs that Axl co-authored with his former GUNS N' ROSES band mates, Slash has continually made negative and malicious statements about Axl in order to garner publicity for himself.
"As an example, the Federal lawsuit Hudson and McKagan filed was based on a faulty premise from the start. What Hudson and McKagan attempted to portray as egregious misconduct by Axl was in fact — as Slash and Duff have learned — nothing more than a clerical error committed by ASCAP. Had Slash and Duff or their representatives bothered to pick up the phone the clerical error could have been easily sorted out without the need for filing an utterly baseless lawsuit which one can only assume had been filed for the purposes of self-publicity at Axl's expense. The lawsuit also attacks Axl's integrity as Slash and Duff, in a vindictive attempt to aggrandize their own stature, re-write history through false statements, which have been repeated by the media. Their attacks on Axl stand in sharp contrast to Rose's conduct. Axl has at all times worked diligently to maintain the artistic integrity of the band by choosing with great care which properties to license GUNS N' ROSES songs to and refusing to participate in what he believed were potentially embarrassing projects. He has fought to avoid the release of material that does not live up to the highest of standards demanded by the band's history and its followers. Axl chose not to respond through the media while taking the high road in the face of Slash and Duff's attacks. Hudson and McKagan, by contrast, have told ever changing — and false — stories regarding the formation of the band and its history and believe that the band's catalogue should be exploited without careful consideration — for the GUNS N' ROSES brand and their loyal audience — or Axl's input as if it were fast food by anyone willing to pay for it.
"For over 10 years Slash, a consummate press, photo and media opportunist and manipulator, has attacked Axl Rose on a number of levels. Slash's actions whether in or out of GUNS N' ROSES have been a complete betrayal across the board of his alleged friendship and business relationship with Axl and the so called brotherhood and band loyalties that are supposed to have existed. Instead Slash has publicly attempted, by soliciting public and media support, to take credit for something that was not his or anyone else's to take, notwithstanding that Slash played a major part in the success of the band as Axl has continually acknowledged.
"In October of 2005 Slash made an unannounced 5:30 AM visit to Axl Rose's house. Not appearing to be under the influence, Slash came to inform Axl that: 'Duff was spineless,' 'Scott [Weiland] was a fraud,' that he 'hates Matt Sorum' and that in this ongoing war, contest or whatever anyone wants to call it that Slash has waged against Axl for the better part of 20 years, that Axl has proven himself 'the stronger.' Based on his conduct in showing up at Rose's home, Axl was hopeful that Slash would live up to his pronouncements that he wanted to end the war and move on with life. Unfortunately that did not prove to be the case.
"Mr. Rose's attorney Howard Weitzman commented, 'Axl regrets having to spend time and energy on these distractions but he has a responsibility to protect the GUNS N' ROSES legacy and expose the truth. Axl believes he has been left with no alternative but to respond to these lawsuits. It would have been Axl's preference to resolve disputes with Slash and Duff in private. The courthouse is not his choice of forum. However, Axl could no longer sit quietly and allow the continuing dissemination of falsehoods and half-truths by his former band-mates.'"