Ozzy Osbourne Sued by Former Bassist over Unpaid Royalties yet Again
Published Aug 09, 2016Former Ozzy Osbourne bassist Bob Daisley has once again sued his former band leader, claiming the metal icon has defrauded him of millions of dollars in royalties and back payments.
Daisley has sued Osbourne several times over the years, with varying degrees of success. His latest claim alleges that while he has been receiving royalty payments for his work with Ozzy, running from 1980's Blizzard of Ozz through to 1991's No More Tears, a recent audit of Osbourne's Blizzard Music allegedly shows that it has withheld the full amount the bassist is owed under publishing agreements. As such, he's seeking $2 million USD in damages.
It's implied in the lawsuit that the U.S. wing of Blizzard Music was taking monies owed to Daisley, in addition to the 10 percent taken by the UK division. It was later explained to the musician that the U.S. company was an "independent subpublisher" and entitled to separate payments, while Daisley says he was not made aware of this, nor did he agree to it.
He further alleges that he's been shortchanged by "commercial exploitations" of songs he helped write on Osbourne's Blizzard of Ozz, including career-defining hit "Crazy Train," and Diary of a Madman. Infamously, 2002 reissues of those LPs feature re-recorded bass parts from Metallica/Suicidal Tendencies four-stringer Robert Trujillo.
"To learn that Osbourne and Blizzard US had intentionally deprived them of income under the guise of separate companies was to learn that Osbourne had intended to defraud Daisley of his rightful share of income by hiding behind sham corporate entities," it's explained in the suit. "As a result of Defendants' collective actions, upon information and belief, Plaintiff has been deliberately deprived by Defendants of more than two million dollars in royalties income owed to him."
Osbourne has responded to the suit, denying Daisley's claims, adding that the bassist has been paid for his services over the years to the tune of "millions of dollars." The statement gets a bit snippy, and points out that the 66-year-old is "now in retirement and that these funds are his main source of income."
"For the past 36 years, Mr. Daisley has been receiving bi-annual royalty statements and checks from Blizzard Music, totaling in the millions of dollars, which have been routinely cashed," a rep told Rolling Stone. "Mr. Daisley has audited Blizzard Music accounts over the years using several different auditing firms who found no discrepancies. He has previously filed lawsuits in the UK and the US and has lost on each occasion."
Daisley first began working with Osbourne's solo project in 1979. He was fired from the band during the making of 1981's Diary of a Madman, but would return to work with the singer for years. In 1986, alongside drummer Lee Kerslake, he successfully sued Osbourne for royalties and album credit, but a second suit filed in 2002 was dismissed.