Culture Club members given more time to sort £1.75m debt amid bankruptcy bid

Boy George and bassist Michael Craig are in debt to former drummer Jon Moss after a previous court ruling.

Culture club singer Boy George and the group’s bassist Michael Craig have been given more time to try and avoid a bankruptcy bid brought against them by former bandmate Jon Moss over a £1.75 million debt from a legal dispute.

Boy George – whose real name is George O’Dowd – and Mr Craig are both in debt to Culture Club’s ex-drummer after a judge previously ordered Mr Moss should be paid £1.75 million by the band as part of a resolved battle over the group’s profits.

A hearing at a specialist court in London on Tuesday was told that Mr Moss is bringing bankruptcy petitions against Boy George and Mr Craig in relation to the judge’s ruling in March.

Insolvency and Companies Court judge Catherine Burton was asked by Hugh Miall, lawyer for Boy George and Mr Craig, to adjourn the hearing so that creditors could consider proposals for an Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA) – a formal agreement which lets people repay debts in a bid to avoid bankruptcy.

Boy George
Boy George (Ian West/PA)

Amanda Hadkiss, for Mr Moss, and Edoardo Lupi, representing the IVA nominees, did not oppose the adjournment.

Judge Burton ordered that the next hearing in the case should be on June 27.

Tuesday’s short proceedings, at which no band members were present, comes after a High Court battle between Mr Moss and his ex-bandmates over the group’s profits was resolved a week before trial.

The drummer, a founding member of the group, had previously brought legal action against Boy George, guitarist Roy Hay and Mr Craig, after allegedly being “expelled” by their manager in September 2018 after 37 years playing together.

A six-day free trial was due to start in late March to determine the value of the Culture Club name, the profits made by the band since Mr Moss’s alleged expulsion, and the amount he might be entitled to receive.

But a court order issued on March 21 said that the group had agreed that a judgment should be made in favour of Mr Moss, with his ex-bandmates required to pay him £1.75 million immediately.

The order approved by Mrs Justice Joanna Smith said that Mr Moss had agreed to “relinquish” any right to the Culture Club name and its use, including in connection with concerts and merchandise.

The High Court previously heard that the band had settled a dispute over whether there was a “continuing partnership” since the formation of Culture Club – a group best known for hits such as Do You Really Want To Hurt Me and Karma Chameleon – with Boy George, Mr Hay and Mr Craig conceding there was until Mr Moss’s departure.

Culture Club
Culture Club – pictured with Michael Jackson’s sister, LaToya – in their 1980s heyday (PA)

The abandoned trial over the outstanding issues of the group’s value and profits was also due to cover Mr Moss’s additional claim to an “outstanding balance” of 246,000.17 dollars (£201,000) under the terms of a band agreement reached over the operation of its 2018 Life Tour.

Boy George, Mr Craig and Mr Hay were all previously defending the claims.

Last year, the court was told that Mr Moss was amending his legal challenge to include allegations that Boy George “conspired to defraud” him over the Life Tour money, after he learnt that funds were released to a US company, You Give Me Life, Inc (YGML), following the settlement of legal proceedings in America in January 2021.

YGML and another English company, Other Places Drama LLP (OPD) – both said to be Boy George’s personal service companies – had brought proceedings against Agency for the Performing Arts (APA) in California claiming to be entitled to the money it held.

Mr Moss had originally launched litigation seeking a court declaration that the outstanding balance money was being held for him by APA, acting as his agent.

The drummer claimed that Boy George, YGML and/or OPD, were allegedly in breach of the “deal memo” that he said meant each band member would receive a fee of 600,000 dollars (£491,000) for up to 80 concerts on the Life Tour.

Boy George previously accused Mr Moss of making a “personal attack on me” and “the most unfounded and hurtful allegations”, which were “entirely untrue”.

More from Perspective

Get a free copy of our print edition


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed

Your email address will not be published. The views expressed in the comments below are not those of Perspective. We encourage healthy debate, but racist, misogynistic, homophobic and other types of hateful comments will not be published.