Mick Mars, the guitarist of the 1980s heavy metal group Motley Crue filed a suit on Thursday against the group that he had been a member for over four decades.
Mars has requested that seven Motley Crue corporate entities hand over records relating to their business dealings after a dispute in 2022 stemming from Mars' notifying the group that he would be retiring from tour due to a health condition. Mars says the band tried to remove him and reduce future earnings that he claimed he was entitled to. A copy of the suit obtained by CNN shows this.
It is beyond sad to see a band try to get rid of a member because they can't tour any more due to his debilitating illness. Ed McPherson told CNN that Mick had been treated unfairly for too long.
McPherson stated in the lawsuit that when Mars informed Motley crue that he would retire from touring because of his 'debilitating Ankylosing spondylitis', a condition affecting the spine primarily, he made clear that he did not intend to leave the band and that he was still able to record with them, as well as perform with them, in a "residency situation."
The lawsuit alleges that the band called an emergency shareholders' meeting for Motley Crue’s main corporate entity ‘in order to remove Mars from the band, fire him as a Director of the Corporation, fire him as an Officer of the Corporation, and take his shares away.'
Sasha Frid is the litigation counsel of Motley Crue. She told CNN that Mars's suit was 'unfortunate' and 'completely off-base'. Mars and other members signed an agreement in 2008 that stated that "in no event will any shareholder resigning be entitled to any money attributable live performances" (i.e. tours).
Frid's statement stated that, after Mars publicly resigned Motley Crue 'the group offered Mick a generous package of compensation to honor his career in the band' even though 'the band didn't owe Mick any money'
The lawsuit also details years of strained relationships and turmoil among band members, including allegations that some members performed songs to prerecorded music while on tour, and that Nikki Sixx "gaslighted" Mars by creating the false narrative that Mars made mistakes on tour due to cognitive dysfunction.
McPherson stated in the lawsuit that any mistakes Mars made on tour was due to his in-ear monitoring 'constantly failing, causing Mars not to be able to hear his instrument'.
Frid, the band's spokesperson, said that 'Motley Crue performs their songs live every time, but during the last Tour Mick struggled with chords and played the wrong songs, which led to him leaving the band.
Motley crue reunited famously in 2019 and announced their new tour, after performing what they had planned to be their final show at the end 2015.