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Elton John World News: Missing Millions: Elton Serves Second Day In Court Match

Missing Millions: Elton Serves Second Day In Court Match-- Posted by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Court session ahead of Antwerp show

Friday 17 November 2000 @ 2:00 - GMT

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">Edited by George Matlock

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Elton spent a second morning at Londons High Court November 16, 2000, giving evidence and defending his lavish lifestyle in his damages claim, before setting off for the concert in Antwerp he performs tonight.

Defending his spending habits, Elton said he was determined to enjoy his life, but he also admitted to receiving warnings from his accountants and Andrew Haydon to curb his spending.

Sir Elton is suing Andrew Haydon, of Elton's former management company John Reid Enterprises (JRE), and City accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which looked after his business interests.

Elton alleges Haydon was negligent in allowing JRE to charge him tour expenses - including booking agents, accountants and producers. Elton's case is that the "several millions" which he paid out in touring expenses should have been borne by JRE under a management agreement. PricewaterhouseCoopers (at that time called Price Waterhouse) are accused by Elton of negligence in managing his affairs. Both defendants are contesting vigorously Elton's legal action. The case is expected to last eight weeks.

On November 15, 2000, Elton described his lifestyle, revealing he once spent almost £30 million in a 20-month period - an average of £1.5 million a month. In that time, he spent £293,000 on flowers and more than £9.6 million on property, the packed court heard.

Dressed that day in a grey suit, white shirt and brightly-patterned blue tie, and watched in the witness box by his long-term partner David Furnish, Elton said: "I have no one to leave the money to. I'm a single man. I like spending my money."

Details of his spending came as he was cross-examined by Mark Hapgood QC, representing City accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the two parties being sued by the star. Mr Hapgood suggested to Sir Elton that he went "spending mad" following a $60 million (£42m) deal with recording company Polygram in February 1996.

On Thursday, Elton told the court that with "so much money coming in", he expected his rock superstar earnings to support his multi-million lifestyle.

In reply to a question from Andrew Fletcher, counsel for Mr Haydon, Elton agreed that the "constant theme" of advice he was getting from PwC and JRE from 1986 through 1998 was: "Please limit your personal expenditure".

Mr Fletcher asked: "Is it fair to say that you did not comply with that advice. You didn't limit your personal expenditure in the way they asked you to?"

Elton replied: "It was my money. I was going to spend it however I wanted to, so yes."

The court had heard that, in 1990, it had been suggested that Elton should stick to a spending limit of £200,000 in any one quarter-year. It was also suggested he should sell some of his jewellery to make part of his expenditure self-financing - something Elton said he had done in 1988.

After Mr Fletcher again suggested that Sir Elton had failed to heed his advisers, Elton responded: "There was so much money coming in, I decided I could live a lavish lifestyle. I have no dependants and I was going to enjoy my life."

He added: "I am not a nest-egg person," meaning he is not a saver.

Elton went to say Thursday he is "far too busy a person" to be bothered to find out how much money his tours make.

Elton said he is a singer, songwriter and performer and was "not in the least interested" in the financial details of his professional life.

"I am interested in what I am doing the next day," Elton said.

He added: "If you trust someone implicitly as I did Mr (John) Reid (his former manager) and his organisation, including Mr Haydon, I expected these things to be taken care of on my behalf because of the generous deal he was getting."

He said he had never asked "how much money did my tour make?"

"Never in a million years did I do that," he told the packed court.

Meanwhile, PwC said it would be asking the judge to rule that the firm's employees had acted according to the highest professional standards. Sir Elton has already accepted five million dollars (£3.4 million) from Mr Reid in settlement of his claims against him.

The hearing continues

 

EJW.com court reporters will also continue to bring you the latest breaking news about this court case, and provide succinct context and relevant legal notes to guide you through a complex case, in the weeks ahead. Please be aware that EJW.com is unwilling to prejudice the court hearing, and its expert panel will therefore not offer any "what it all could lead to" analysis of the deliberations until the trial closes.