Mötley Crüe’s manager claimed Mick Mars’ representatives are “taking advantage” of the guitarist amid the group’s recent touring dispute.
In court documents obtained by Fox News Digital, Mick Mars accused the band of forcing him to resign after he chose to stop touring. However, the band’s manager Allen Kovac and a lawyer for the band claimed representatives for Mars, including the guitarist’s lawyer, “manipulated” him into the dispute.
Kovac, who has managed the heavy metal band for the past 29 years, told Fox News Digital, “Every time there was a problem, [Mick] would call me. I haven’t heard from Mick. I would have protected him from the elderly abuse that [the representatives] are taking advantage of him with.”
A representative for Mars had no comment regarding the “elder abuse” allegation.
Mars filed a mandate of writ on April 6 claiming Mötley Crüe had been slow to turn over documents, but Mötley Crüe’s lawyer Sasha Frid of Miller Barondess told Fox News Digital there is “no issue” regarding documents.
“We’re an open book. We’re not hiding any documents from this guy,” Frid claimed. “There’s no issue with documents. You want your documents, here are your documents.”
Mötley Crüe’s manager claimed Mick Mars’ representatives have taken advantage of him as the group is locked in a touring dispute. (Getty Images)
The mandate of writ was filed ahead of the band and Mars going to arbitration over a shareholders agreement amendment signed in 2008. At the time, all original members of the band – Vince Neil, Tommy Lee, Nikki Six and Mick Mars – signed an agreement stating they would not be entitled to any touring revenue or any value of the Mötley Crüe name once they had resigned from the band, according to Frid.
“It’s common sense,” Frid explained. “If you’re not out on the road touring, you don’t get any money from touring. Just like when I don’t go to work, I don’t get a paycheck.”
Mötley Crüe formed in 1981. (Getty Images)
Mötley Crüe previously claimed that when Mars announced that he couldn’t tour anymore, he was resigning from the band. However, in court documents Mars alleges that he told the band members that he could still play in a residency situation and could still record.
The guitarist just could no longer “physically handle the rigor of the roads.”
“It is beyond sad that, after 41 years together, a band would try to throw out a member who is unable to tour anymore because he has a debilitating disease,” Mars’ attorney Ed McPherson said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “Mick has been pushed around for far too long in this band, and we are not going to let that continue.”
Meanwhile, lawyers for Mötley Crüe maintain that Mars gave up his rights to any future earnings from tours after he quit.
Nikki Sixx and Mick Mars of Motley Crue perform on July 15, 1999. (Getty Images)
The back-and-forth between Mars and Mötley Crüe began in October. Fans became confused due to differing statements. Mars announced that he was retiring from touring due to his arthritis, while the band claimed that he was retiring from music completely.
“Things get twisted around sometimes from other band members. I don’t really know if I should say this, but… those guys have been hammering on me since ’87, trying to replace me,” Mars told Variety. “They haven’t been able to do that, because I’m the guitar player. I helped form this band. It’s my name I came up with [the Mötley Crüe moniker], my ideas, my money that I had from a backer to start this band. It wouldn’t have gone anywhere.”
Mick Mars retired from touring in 2022. (Getty Images)
Frid and Kovac claim that after Mars announced he was retiring from touring, the guitarist was offered a “generous compensation package” despite being entitled to nothing due to the 2008 amendment.
“Despite the fact that the band did not owe Mick anything – and with Mick owing the band millions in advances that he did not pay back – the band offered Mick a generous compensation package to honor his career with the band,” Frid explained to Fox News Digital. “Manipulated by his manager and lawyer, Mick refused and chose to file this ugly public lawsuit.”
The “generous compensation package” included 7.5% of the remaining tour revenue, according to Kovac. However, Mars and McPherson claimed the musician was entitled to 25% of all touring for the history of the band in perpetuity.
Frid claimed there was no reason to file the writ of mandate, and says the documents requested by Mars could have been recovered through arbitration.
“If this lawsuit was really about documents, then Mick and his lawyer would not have spilled ink recanting a 41-year band history and badmouthing the band’s performance on tours,” the lawyer said.
“Mick and his lawyer filed this lawsuit to make derogatory statements so that they can be protected from a defamation lawsuit under California’s litigation privilege,” he claimed. “This lawsuit is nothing more than a malicious attempt to smear the band and Mick’s former bandmates to gain leverage – orchestrated by Mick’s lawyer.”
In Mars’ lawsuit, he also claimed other members of the band were not actually playing while on stage. Specifically, he claimed Nikki Six’s parts were all pre-recorded and some of Neil and Lee’s were as well.
However, the band obtained signed declarations from crew members, who Kovac claimed are “independent contractors,” on Feb. 9 stating that Mars was actually the band member not playing live. Mötley Crüe chose not to publicize these declarations until Mars’ lawsuit.
Mars’ lawyer claimed the declarations came from “employees” of the band.
Few heavy metal acts were as notorious in the 1980s – onstage and off – as Mötley Crüe, whose songs include “Looks That Kill,” “Shout at the Devil” and “Girls, Girls, Girls.” Fueled by drugs and booze, their stage show included excessive amounts of pyrotechnics and chain-sawing the head off a mannequin filled with blood.
Mötley Crüe was formed in 1981 by Sixx and Tommy Lee. The two were later joined by Mars and Vince Neil.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.