Published Jan 26, 2011It's a good thing that Irish dad rockers U2 have piles of money spread across the globe, because drummer Larry Mullen Jr. was recently ordered to pony up nearly half a million dollars thanks to some misguided comments made to a Brazilian newspaper over a decade ago.
Spinner points to a news item on the U2 fansite @U2, which explains that Mullen was ordered to pay $480,000 U.S. to Brazilian concert promoter Franco Bruni. The case surrounds a controversial interview that Bono and Mullen did with a Brazilian newspaper in November of 2000 where Mullen accused Bruni of not paying the band for three Brazilian concerts in 1998.
Three days after the article was published, Bruni revealed that he actually had paid U2 the money they were owed for their concerts, and the only money owing was "author's rights." As a result, he launched a lawsuit against Bono and Mullen in 2003.
A ruling was made on January 21 that acquitted Bono but found Mullen guilty, alongside Brazilian journalist Mario Marques Pereira Neto and media company InfoGlobo. A Google-based English translation of the ruling can be found here.
In the band's defence, this was during their ambitious PopMart Tour, and it's probably hard to keep track of your mountainous finances when you have to worry about travelling with a giant lemon-shaped spaceship.