Nine Inch Nails star sues manager

By unknown for BBC News on May 17, 2005

Despite earning millions, rock star Trent Reznor was shocked to learn he had just 0,000 (£217,000) in cash, the singer told a US court on Monday.

The Nine Inch Nails frontman is suing manager John Malm over claims that he duped him into signing a bad contract.

Reznor claims his ex-friend misled him into signing a deal giving Malm 20 per cent of the singer's gross earnings.

Defending the claim, Malm's lawyer said his client worked for years without a salary and kept no secrets from Reznor.

Lawyer Alan Hirth said: "Of the millions upon millions upon millions that Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails made, the vast majority went into his (Reznor's) pocket."

Production company

At the start of the civil action against John Malm on Monday, Reznor told the court he trusted Malm more than anyone in his life when he agreed to let the manager handle his finances in the 1980s.

"John was the business guy, and I was the guy working for nothing in the studio," Reznor told jurors.

Reznor said the pair set up their own production company and managed sales of merchandise but the expenses mounted up, draining large sums from Nine Inch Nails' music earnings.

Reznor admitted he ignored his finances and sometimes signed documents without reading or understanding them.

He said he grew worried about his money when he was told in a meeting with Malm and a lawyer in 2002 that there was "cause for alarm".

Chart hit

The following year, Reznor said, he asked Malm to tell him how much money he had.

Reznor said he was sent a financial statement that revealed he had at most million (£1.6m) in total assets and as little as 0,000 in cash.

Nine Inch Nails' latest single, The Hand That Feeds, is number two on Billboard's Top 20 list of modern rock tracks and brought the band their first UK top 10 hit last month.

A cover of the band's mournful song Hurt brought legendary country star Johnny Cash his last hit before his death in 2003.

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