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Elton John World News: Missing Millions: Elton 'too busy to count cash'

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Counting the cost

Thursday 16 November 2000 @ 22:31 - GMT

Pop superstar Sir Elton John has told the High Court he was "far too busy a person" to find out how much money he was making.

 

Giving evidence in London for the second day of his multi-million pound court battle, he said he was a singer, songwriter and performer and had no interest in the financial details.

 

The performer is suing Andrew Haydon, 45, former managing director of John Reid Enterprises (JREL), which for many years was his management company.

 

Sir Elton alleges Mr Haydon was negligent in allowing JREL to charge him "several millions" in overseas tour expenses - including booking agents, accountants and producers.

 

He says the cost should have been borne by JREL under a management agreement.

 

He also accuses City accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers - formerly Price Waterhouse - of negligence in managing his affairs.

 

Looking relaxed and composed, Sir Elton was cross-examined on Thursday by Andrew Fletcher, counsel for Mr Haydon, about his tour accounts.

 

Sir Elton said he was not in the least interested in seeing tour accounts: "I am interested in what I am doing the next day.

 

"If you trust someone implicitly as I did Mr (John) Reid 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 if he had seen tour accounts for his 1984 north American tour he would have been "extremely surprised and angry" to see these costs had been borne by his own companies.

 

Sir Elton agreed that his advisers repeatedly asked him to limit his

expenditure.

 

Asked if he agreed he did not follow the advice, he said: "It was my money. I was going to spend it however I wanted to - so yes."

 

But he said he had sold some of his jewellery.

 

Sir Elton added: "There was so much money coming in I decided I could live a lavish lifestyle.

 

"I am not a nest-egg person."

 

On Wednesday the court heard how Sir Elton once spent £40m in just under two years - an average of £1.5m a month.

 

The singer's lavish lifestyle saw him spend more than £9.6m on property and £293,000 on flowers between January 1996 and September 1997.

 

Sir Elton defended his spending, telling the court: "I have no one to leave the money to. I'm a single man. I like spending my money."

 

Both Mr Haydon and PricewaterhouseCoopers contest the allegations against them.

 

Sir Elton has already accepted £3.4m from his former business manager John Reid in settlement of his claims against him.

 

The hearing, which began at the end of last month, is expected to last about eight weeks.

 

Sir Elton is expected to be in court for the rest of the week.

 

The case 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.