Boy George keeps a low-profile amid legal woes

Boy George keeps a low-profile as he’s seen for the first time since being accused of plotting to defraud Culture Club bandmate and ex-lover Jon Moss out of £188,000 over 2018 tour

  • Drummer Jon Moss is bringing a legal challenge against the band’s lead singer 
  • He was allegedly ‘expelled’ by their manager following 37 years of ‘service’  
  • Moss argues he is owed £188,000 ($246,000) under a band agreement 
  • Boy George and Moss dated in the Eighties but kept their romance secret 

Boy George looked sombre as he was pictured for the first time since being accused of plotting to defraud his former Culture Club bandmate out of £188,000.

The singer, 60, kept a low-profile as he picked up a smoothie from Planet Organic in London on Thursday. 

Despite being famed for his love of flamboyant clothing and oversized headwear, the Karma Chameleon singer donned an understated black hoodie and beanie hat for his outing. 

Low-key: Boy George looked sombre as he was pictured for the first time since being accused of plotting to defraud his former Culture Club bandmate out of £188,000

Boy George, whose real name is George O’Dowd, kept his head down following the news Culture Club drummer Jon Moss is bringing a legal challenge against him, guitarist Roy Hay and bassist Michael Craig.

He was allegedly ‘expelled’ by their manager in September 2018 following 37 years of ‘service’. 

Moss argues he is owed an ‘outstanding balance’ of £188,000 ($246,000) under the terms of a band agreement reached over the operation of its 2018 Life Tour.

Under wraps: The singer, 60, kept a low-profile as he picked up a smoothie from Planet Organic in London on Thursday

Details of the ongoing case emerged in a remotely held High Court hearing before a judge, Deputy Master Marc Glover, on Monday.

The members of Culture Club, best known for hits such as Do You Really Want To Hurt Me and Karma Chameleon, did not appear on the video-link during the proceedings.

During a three-hour hearing, the judge granted an application by Moss’s barrister Celia Rooney to amend details of his claim and to join two companies linked to Boy George to the case.

Woes: Drummer Jon Moss (pictured) is bringing a legal challenge against the band’s lead singer, whose real name is George O’Dowd, guitarist Roy Hay and bassist Michael Craig

Boy George, Craig and Hay are yet to file an amended defence to Moss’s new claims, but it is understood from draft court documents that they dispute his claim to the outstanding money.

According to a draft court document, the agreement between the band members – dubbed the ‘deal memo’ – meant each would receive a fee of £458,000 ($600,000) for up to 80 concerts on the Life Tour. 

Moss originally launched litigation seeking a court declaration that the outstanding balance money was being held for him by the Agency for the Performing Arts (APA), acting as his agent.


Healthy treats: Boy George was stocking up on healthy snacks and juices from health food store Planet Organic 

Rooney said in written arguments that the band’s booking agent had agreed not to release it without Moss’s agreement or a court order.

But she explained that Moss later learnt the outstanding funds were released to a US company, You Give Me Life, Inc (YGML), following the settlement of legal proceedings in America in January 2021.

YGML and another English company, Other Places Drama LLP (OPD), had brought proceedings against APA in California claiming to be entitled to the money it held, Rooney said. 

Rooney said this was a ‘direct breach of reassurances’ given by APA and that Moss had not been involved in the US proceedings.

Simplistic: Despite being famed for his love of flamboyant clothing and oversized headwear, the Karma Chameleon singer donned an understated black hoodie and beanie hat

She told the court on Monday that Boy George was was the only ‘officer’ of YGML and one of two ‘designated members’ of OPD over which he has 75 per cent of voting rights over. 

Rooney argued that the US proceedings involving these ‘personal service companies’ could only have been brought with Boy George’s knowledge or by people acting on his behalf.

In written submissions, she said this meant Moss had was ‘effectively forced’ to re-plead his case where Boy George is alleged to ‘have conspired to defraud the claimant of nearly a quarter of a million dollars which are the subject of these proceedings’.

She noted that the knowledge Craig and Hay had over the US proceedings issue was unknown.


Understated: Boy George was nearly unrecognisable from his outlandish self (pictured left in 2018) 

Moss is now seeking to claim that Boy George, YGML and/or OPD, were allegedly in breach of the ‘deal memo’ previously reached over the the Life Tour, allegedly acted dishonestly in relation to the US settlement and allegedly entered into a conspiracy to defraud Mr Moss over the money he still believes is owed to him. 

Rooney explained that as part of the High Court litigation, the band previously settled a dispute over whether there was a ‘continuing partnership’ since the formation of Culture Club before a trial listed in December last year, with Boy George, Hay and Craig conceding there was until Moss’s alleged ‘expulsion’.

Earlier on Monday, Lawrence Kelly, representing the three bandmates facing Mr Moss’s legal challenge, unsuccessfully applied for the hearing to be adjourned.

Culture Club: The members of Culture Club, best known for hits such as Do You Really Want To Hurt Me and Karma Chameleon, did not appear on the video-link during the proceedings (L-R) Mikey Craig, Roy Hay Boy George and Jon Moss

He told the court he was unable to give ‘helpful answers’ over the case as he needed to ‘get up to speed’, having only been instructed by Boy George, Craig and Hay since Friday. 

Rooney opposed a delay to the hearing suggesting it could be a ‘tactical decision’ and arguing there was no explanation over the timing and why the three band members had changed from their previous law firm Russells Solicitors.

Rejecting the bid for an adjournment, the judge said it came at the ’11th hour’ and noted that the previously instructed law firm had previously appeared not to have opposed the applications sought by Moss’s lawyers on Monday.

A further preliminary hearing in the case is due to be held on May 3.

Dispute: Moss argues he is owed an ‘outstanding balance’ of £188,000 ($246,000) under the terms of a band agreement reached over the operation of its 2018 Life Tour 

Boy George and Moss dated in the Eighties but kept their romance private, with the Culture Club frontman later saying in his tell-all book, Take It Like A Man, that his lover was ashamed of their relationship – a claim Moss vehemently denied. 

Boy George later told The Daily Mail, ‘I’ve realised that, actually, some things are my own business. I don’t have to put everything in the public domain. 

‘I’ve learned the hard way that some things are private, and I’m probably going to save myself a lot of heartache.

‘Had I known that years ago, and not been such a foghorn about it, I probably could have had a healthy relationship with Jon. 

‘You learn over the years that some things are sacred, and that’s why I’m glad I have a decent relationship with Jon now, otherwise it would rubbish everything we had.’ 

Happier times: Boy George and Moss dated in 1981, with the Culture Club frontman later saying in his tell-all book, Take It Like A Man, that his lover was ashamed of their relationship – a claim Moss vehemently denied (pictured in 2014)

He added: ‘We do love each other, but it’s not like a sexual love or desire love. I care about him and would be really sad if anything happened to him, and I’m glad he’s in my life. I wouldn’t have said that ten years ago.’  

Speaking to The Independent in 1999, Boy George said of their relationship:  ‘It’s not like I ever really got what I needed from Jon. I loved him more than anything in the world, but in hindsight, it was a very dysfunctional relationship.’

Jon added: ‘It was the band that kept us together, plus the sexual relationship, but we didn’t really get on. Though I was obviously gay because I was with George, I wasn’t gay in inverted commas. 

‘When we’d watch television, he’d say, “Oh, he’s cute,” and I’d say, “Why can’t we just watch the programme?” That was the difference. There’s never been a feeling of closure. I think ours is the great unresolved romance of the century.’

Speaking in 1999, Boy George said: ‘It’s not like I ever really got what I needed from Jon. I loved him more than anything in the world, but in hindsight, it was a very dysfunctional relationship’ (pictured together in 1985) 

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