Marilyn Manson's insurance coverage will pay $175,000 to settle a lawsuit brought against him by a former member of his band, but all of the money will go to the plaintiff's attorney, a lawyer for the goth rocker said today.
Stephen Bier (better known by the stage names Pogo and Madonna Wayne Gacy), who was seeking more than $20 million, alleged in his lawsuit that Manson was using band money to buy items ranging from Nazi memorabilia to a $150,000 engagement ring for his now ex-wife Dita Von Teese. Manson, whose real name is Brian Warner, countersued Bier for failing to perform his recording, touring and promotional duties during his tenure in the band.
Manson's lawyer, Howard E. King, said Bier will not get any proceeds and that the settlement check will be made payable to Bier's lead attorney to cover the costs of the latter's investment in the case. King maintains the lawsuit never should have been filed. "After being dismissed from the band, Bier could have focused on resurrecting or attempting to pursue a music career," King said. "Instead, he devoted the last several years to complaining about Manson's alleged spending habits and extravagant behavior to anyone who would listen."
"The resolution of the bitterly fought case with Bier receiving nothing for his spurious claims is a complete vindication of Manson," the attorney said.
According to Southern California Public Radio, the complete resolution of the case is still dependent upon the resolution of a $72,000 lien for attorneys' fees sought by the law firm of Grodsky & Olecki, which was among numerous other named defendants. The potential snag in the settlement came Thursday when Grodsky & Olecki filed a lien for attorneys' fees stemming from their successful effort to persuade Stern to dismiss all of Bier's allegations against them in November 2007. Stern's ruling was upheld by a panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeal on June 4. The firm now wants to be paid from the settlement money. On Friday, Stern scheduled a hearing for Jan. 15 on any further motions regarding the settlement.
Grodsky & Olecki represented both Bier and Manson while they were involved in previous litigation involving a third party. The allegations against the firm involved Bier's contention that it breached its duty to him with a "threat letter" that was "a transparent attempt by Manson to frighten Bier into leaving the band," according to the keyboardist's court papers. But Stern agreed with the firm's lawyers that the letter was written in contemplation that Bier might file a lawsuit and was therefore protected.
Manson posted a message on his MySpace blog in which he wrote, "I want to make clear that, aside from the wasted legal fees, in no way did I pay off the person that stood behind a keyboard — pretending to play music other artists in this band wrote. And I would not piss on Pogo if he was on fire. The end. Or is it? Let's wait until all the really bad things I covered up for him are suddenly uncovered."
Manson added, "I don't want this to be confused as anger. I feel nothing for a person that betrayed me and my band. My band . . . So good luck to you, sir. You are gonna need it. Sweet dreams."
Manson recently announced his departure from Interscope Records, where he had recorded for more than 15 years, following disappointing sales for his latest effort, "The High End Of Low".