John Baxter is looking for up to $50m in damages
Rolling Stone reports that Baxter, who had been Halford's personal manager since 1982 until he was fired in August, claims he discovered in August that frontman Rob Halford owes him millions of dollars for contract breaches, including failure to pay commissions, salary and expenses dating back to 1992.
Baxter was apparently fired by Halford via a letter from a British law firm on 7 August. The letter read: "It has become clear over recent weeks that the relationships between our parties has run its course and that you are not acting in our clients' best interests."
The letter also claims that Baxter, who lives in Arizona, withdrew his sponsorship of Halford's U.S. visa in order to prevent his entry into the country and that he posted cruel comments on Halford's official website, actions that "placed an intolerable strain upon our clients' ability to maintain constructive and professional relations with the remaining members of Judas Priest and their representatives at this crucial time."
Baxter obviously denies these claims and his attorney Barry K. Rothman told Rolling Stone "It was wrongful termination because there's no basis to have terminated. They have their own agenda.
"Baxter has been managing [Halford] for decades. Judas Priest was coming to an end and the Judas Priest people wanted to engage Halford in his solo endeavor and to continue to have a relationship with him which was not possible with Baxter in the middle. There's a whole reason why this all of the sudden abruptly came to an end."
In August, Judas Priest band members posted a statement on their official website: "There has recently been some nonsense and propaganda posted on the Internet including on Rob's website, regarding the band and management. (Rob currently is not controlling his website and absolutely does not agree with the comments). We refuse to get drawn into any public arguments - it is below us and will be dealt with legally. The band have always jointly made any major decisions and have been with the same management team for over 25 years. Everyone knows and respects them in the music business and we have ultimate faith and trust in the way they have always guided us."
The Priest camp are yet to respond to the new lawsuit.
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