After biting the hand that feeds, karma caught up with former Nine Inch Nails manager John Malm, who has been ordered to pay Trent Reznor $2.9 million in back earnings after allegedly tricking the artist out of millions of dollars. MTV.com reports that the jury's decision in the case doesn't immediately account for interest owed on the amount, and once computed, the payout could potentially double. More importantly, the decision returns total control of Reznor's trademarks back into his hands.
In the civil lawsuit, filed by Reznor in New York in 2004, the NIN frontman claimed that Malm mismanaged his finances and stole from him. He said that Malm tricked him into signing a contract that awarded Malm 20 percent of his gross earnings rather than net income, which is the typical cut for artist managers. He added that he trusted Malm more than anyone in the world and that he often ignored his finances, and even signed documents without reviewing them.
Malm's lawyer, Alan Hirth, said that his client never even collected his 20 percent commission and that he kept no secrets from Reznor about his finances. He even argued that it was Reznor who owed Malm, because Malm worked pro bono for years. However, the jury found in favor or Reznor, and the $2.9 million amount was awarded. Reznor was not in court for the decision since he is out on the road for his With Teeth tour. The trek is currently traveling through Europe but will return to the U.S. in the fall, with Queens Of The Stone Age as the opening act.