GREAT WHITE Singer Loses Lawsuit Against Former Manager

On June 8, 2005, former GREAT WHITE manager Charrie Foglio was cleared of defamation charges brought by GREAT WHITE founder and vocalist Jack Russell. Russell, who sued for 10 million dollars plus punitive damages, claimed that Foglio, a co-manager of the band from April to September of 2003 with Obi Steinman of STC Entertainment, falsely told the press and others that Russell and Steinman "stole money" from the charity. Judge Robert L. Hess of the Los Angeles Superior court ruled that any comment made by Foglio regarding the charity and/or missing money was one of public concern and that she was thus protected by the First Amendment. The only way Russell and Steinman could have overturned the courts order was to prove that Foglio made these comments with "clear and convincing malice" and that they were in fact not true. Russell, Steinman and their attorney Ed McPherson could prove neither.

Russell's lawsuit claimed that Foglio not only attempted to extort money from the band, but also invaded Russell's privacy and slandered him. Russell asked the court to place a permanent injunction on Foglio to preclude her from speaking about GREAT WHITE again. Judge Hess found that there was no extortion, no slander, no invasion of privacy and denied the injunction in whole.

In April 2004, Foglio, on behalf of GREAT WHITE, struck an agreement with the Station Family Fund, a Rhode Island charity established to assist the victims and families of the Station nightclub fire that occurred on February 20, 2003, and tragically took the lives of 100 people. Both parties agreed that GREAT WHITE would perform in the U.S. specifically to help the victims of the fire, calling the tour "The Station Family Fund Benefit Tour", which took place from July to November of 2003. It was agreed that the band was to retain exactly $5,000 from each performance for expenses and donate all profits above that amount to the charity. Station Family Fund President Victoria Potvin contacted Ms. Foglio approximately five weeks after the tour began regarding thousands of dollars in discrepancies between what money had been earned by the band compared to what they had actually donated to the fund. Upon the charity's request, Foglio, who had not been involved with the tour's finances, as this had been the responsibility of Steinman, researched the matter and found that the charity's suspicions were founded and that money that had been promised to the fund was indeed unaccounted for.

During the course of the yearlong trial that ended on June 6, attorney Ed McPherson, claimed that "Jack Russell could keep every cent from the tour if he wanted because they were all donations!" The court disagreed with McPherson stating that there was strong evidence in support of the agreement between the band and the charity.

Foglio, who spent a decade under the tutelage of Doc McGhee (BON JOVI, KISS), defended herself in pro per with the legal assistance of Ara Nigolian and Long Beach attorney Keith Bray. "I wanted to do something to help the situation in Rhode Island and organizing this tour was the best way I knew how." Foglio continued, "I was really disappointed to see it end in this type of controversy."


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