*Sly Stone was awarded $5 million on Tuesday in a breach-of-contract suit that claimed his business partners and his own company cheated him out of royalties, reports Billboard.
A Los Angeles Superior Court jury ruled for the 71-year-old funk legend in his action against his ex-manager Gerald Goldstein, attorney Glenn Stone and Even St. Productions Ltd.
Stone, whose real name is Sylvester Stewart, led his group Sly and the Family Stone to a string of hits in the 1960s and early ’70s including “Everyday People,” “Dance To The Music” and “Family Affair.” But heavy drug use began to take a toll, and his lawyers say he was destitute when Goldstein and Glenn Stone convinced him to become an employee of and co-owner of Even St. Productions with them in 1989.
Stone assigned royalty rights to the company and was supposed to receive some of the money it collected for him but Goldstein and Glenn Stone arranged to get it through shady accounting, said one of his attorneys, Nicholas Hornberger.
“They met him, they signed him up…but what they really wanted was his royalties,” Hornberger said.
Gregory Bodell, the attorney for Goldstein and Glenn Stone, said the performer approached his clients to revitalize his career and promised to make comeback records that he never recorded.
His clients weren’t seeking the performer’s royalties because he didn’t have any, in part because he owed millions to the Internal Revenue Service, Bodell said.
Sly Stone testified that he had not received any royalty payments between 1989 and 2000.
But Bodell said his clients helped to pay off the IRS, renegotiated royalty issues with record companies and over 20 years obtained millions of dollars in royalties for the performer – perhaps as much as $9 million.
Jurors assessed $2.5 million in damages against Even St. Productions, $2.45 million against Goldstein and $50,000 against Glenn Stone.
Bodell said the award will be challenged.