Live Nation reportedly is suing former Chairman Michael Cohl for $5.35 million, the amount he allegedly owes the company as part of his exit agreement from more than two years ago.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, which first reported about the lawsuit, Cohl allegedly retained the right to work with several major artists, such as Barbra Streisand and the Rolling Stones, as a condition of his departure. He was supposed to pay more than $9 million over two years for that right, but Live Nation claims he has reneged on paying $5.35 million as a part of that arrangement. The lawsuit was filed Thursday, November 18, in U.S. District Court in Miami.
Cohl left the company in the summer of 2008 after about a year, following a power struggle over Live Nation’s expensive “360-degree” deals with major artists. Cohl favored the deals, which signed artists like Madonna and Jay-Z to touring, recording, licensing and merchandising agreements, but President and CEO Michael Rapino and others in the company reportedly found them too extravagant.
As a condition of his departure, Cohl agreed to a multiple-year non-compete agreement that prohibited him from promoting concerts, except for those artists mentioned above and another couple of exceptions.
The New York Times reported that a spokesperson for Cohl told the paper that Cohl soon would file a response to the lawsuit in court, but the spokesperson declined to elaborate.
Since leaving Live Nation, Cohl has immersed himself in Broadway producing by trying to shepherd the long-delayed “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” to its eventual debut. The musical features songs by Bono and The Edge from U2.