Elton John loses court battle with accountants

BY Advocate.com Editors

June 25 2002 12:00 AM ET

Out pop superstar Elton John on Monday lost the latest round of a British court fight with his former accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers over touring costs he believes he should never have paid. The singer unsuccessfully asked the Court of Appeal to allow him to reopen his case against the firm for negligence in managing his finances after losing a High Court case in which he revealed details of his extravagant lifestyle. John was left with an estimated $11.8 million legal bill after losing the complex case last year, in which he had sought to recover $21 million in overseas touring costs and interest.

He had also unsuccessfully sued Andrew Haydon, former managing director of John Reid Enterprises Ltd., which looked after the singer's affairs for many years, claiming the company should have paid the touring expenses. During the appeal hearing, John's lawyer Mark Howard said the singer, who was not in court, was seeking to reopen his case against the accountants because the firm's failure to report to him on the situation resulted in his losing the ability to recover the money from his former manager. "The total costs borne by Sir Elton in this way amount to just under 7 million pounds [$10.5 million]. He claims these sums together with interest," said Howard. At the court case last year, that interest was estimated to be at least another $10.5 million.

During the case last year, the court heard headline-grabbing details of John's extravagant lifestyle. The judge was told how the singer spent nearly $26 million in a 20-month period, including the purchase of almost $200,000 worth of flowers. Lord Justice Robert Walker, one of the three Court of Appeal judges hearing the case, said he had "come to the same conclusion as the High Court judge" who ruled that he did not find the accountants negligent. The singer was refused permission to reopen his suit. John, who once boasted he could find a shop in the Sahara Desert, has four luxury homes and a passion for vintage cars, jewelry, parties, and outrageous clothes.

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