Looks like Judas Priest will be heading to the court room in the near future. According to Rolling Stone, Rob Halford’s former manager John Baxter has filed a lawsuit against the singer, Judas Priest and their management. Baxter is suing for breach of contract, fraud, and intentional interference with contractual relations, and is asking for up to $50 million in damages.
After working for the singer for the past 29 years, Baxter was fired this past August by Halford and Priest’s current management. In a letter informing him of his termination, the band (via a British law firm) claimed that Baxter (who lives in Arizona) withdrew his sponsorship of Halford’s U.S. visa to intentially prevent his entry into the country, and also posted inappropriate comments on Halford’s website this past Summer.
However, not only is Baxter claiming his termination was unjust and that the band and their management had ulterior motives, but he also claims that Halford owes him millions of dollars for contract breaches and expenses dating back to as far as 1992. Baxter’s lawyer, Barry K. Rothman told Rolling Stone the following:
“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.”
Andrew Thompson, the lawyer whose firm sent Baxter his termination letter, had the following to say about the accusations:
“We are aware of the false claims he is trying to make – this has been ongoing for a while now. Rob Halford validly terminated his contracts with John Baxter and there’s nothing in John Baxter’s various claims, all of which will be vigorously resisted.”
While Baxter and his attorney claim that his firing was unjust, some evidence might claim differently. Though the comments Baxter supposedly posted on Halford’s website were removed, the said comments that were allegedly posted on July 29 can still be read in a Judas Priest fan forum. And while both Priest and Baxter released separate statements claiming certain issues have been resolved, it should be noted that Priest’s statement was posted shortly after Baxter received his termination letter on August 9. Guess we’ll have to just wait to see whether Halford has been breaking the law or not.