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Culture Club to avoid High Court trial by paying 'expelled' drummer Jon Moss €2 million

Culture Club in 2014
Culture Club in 2014 Copyright VALERIE MACON/Valerie Macon
Copyright VALERIE MACON/Valerie Macon
By Katy Dartford
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Drummer Jon Moss claims he was fired from Culture Club during the Life Tour in 2018.

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Eighties English pop band, Culture Club are set to pay former drummer Jon Moss almost €2 million to settle a legal battle after he claimed they "expelled" him.

The case was due to go to trial in a week's time, but a published court order said the band had agreed to end the dispute.

Moss, a founding member of Culture Club, was allegedly “expelled” from the group in September 2018 by manager Paul Kemsley, after a 37-year career as its drummer. He claimed he was owed €213,000 in lost income under the terms of a tour contract.

A six-day High Court trial in London would have assessed the value of the Culture Club name and Moss’ loss of potential earnings since 2018, as well as adjudicating on the contractual tour dispute and legal costs.

Robb D. Cohen/Robb D. Cohen/Invision/AP
Jon Moss with Culture Club performs at the Fox Theatre on Wednesday, August 12, 2015, in Atlanta.Robb D. Cohen/Robb D. Cohen/Invision/AP

Singer Boy George,  whose real name is George O'Dowd, guitarist Roy Hay and bassist Mikey Craig reached an agreement with him instead. As part of the settlement, Moss must not use the Culture Club name, including in connection with concerts and merchandise.

Culture Club found fame in 1982 with their UK No 1 'Do You Really Want to Hurt Me'. They had six more UK Top Five hits and six Top 10 hits in the US that decade, including the chart-topper 'Karma Chameleon'.

The settlement is the latest chapter in a long-running feud between Moss and Boy George, who were romantic partners during the height of the band's success.

George once referred to his relationship with Moss as the "creative force behind Culture Club."

Bill Brimshaw/AP1984
Culture Club members Mikey Craig, left, Boy George, second from left, Roy Hay and Jon Moss, right, hold a news conference, Saturday, March 31, 1984, Montreal, Canada.Bill Brimshaw/AP1984

The band split in 1986 amid George’s struggle with drug use but reunited in 1998 and found success with their 1998 tour and album 'Don't Mind If I Do'.  

In 2020, the group said Moss was merely “taking a break” and “the door is always open” for him to return, but Moss had already launched a legal case against his bandmates.

Last year, Moss amended his legal challenge to include allegations that George "conspired to defraud" him over the Life Tour money, after tour funds were released to a company reportedly owned by George.

The singer claimed the allegation of fraud was a “personal attack” and “entirely untrue”.

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