The Associated Press is reporting that GREAT WHITE singer Jack Russell has sued a former publicist for slander.Russell alleges that spokesperson Charrie Foglio threatened to tell charity organizations associated with the 2003 nightclub fire that killed 100 people in Rhode Island that the singer and his manager, Obi Steinman, were withholding money they promised for a fund set up to benefit survivors. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday (June 30) in Los Angeles County Superior Court. As of September, GREAT WHITE had voluntarily donated $82,000 from various concerts since last July to a nonprofit organization — The Station Family Fund — created to benefit victims' families and survivors of the fire, according to the fund's overseer, Victoria Potzin. Russell claims in the lawsuit that all of the profits from the tour went to charity, and that Foglio was claiming he kept some of the money for himself.
Russell said Foglio made the threat and then followed through after being fired in July 2003. It's unclear whether the story was ever reported. Foglio could not be located for comment by phone and did not immediately respond to an e-mail query. The Rhode Island fire started shortly after the band started its first song at The Station nightclub on Feb. 20, 2003. Victims included the band's guitarist Ty Longley. Pyrotechnics used by the rock band ignited foam placed near the nightclub's stage as soundproofing. The club's two owners and the band's former tour manager have been indicted on manslaughter charges. All three have pleaded innocent.