Guy’s ‘nightmare’ claim about ex-manager

Australian music star Guy Sebastian has accused his former manager of a ‘big seam’ as the two fight in court over alleged fraud.

The struggle to get vital financial information from Guy Sebastian’s ex-manager was like living in a ‘nightmare’, a court has heard.

Titus Day, 49, is on trial in NSW District Court after being charged with 50 counts of fraudulently misappropriating around $900,000 in royalties, performance and ambassador payments to Mr Sebastian.

The former agent of celebrities such as Grant Denyer and Sophie Monk is also fighting 50 alternative theft charges.

Mr Sebastian gave Mr Day significant control over his finances when the couple worked together between 2009 and 2017, with most of the income the singer generated going directly to Mr Day’s company 6 Degrees.

After the money arrived, Mr. Day was instructed to take a pre-determined amount of commission and pay the rest to Mr. Sebastian.

When the couple’s relationship suffered a bitter rift, Mr Sebastian claimed to have uncovered anomalies which led him to file a lawsuit in Federal Court against Mr Day in an attempt to recover the money he was allegedly owed .

Mr Day responded with a counterclaim, alleging it was him Mr Sebastian owed money – a claim the former Australian Idol winner and reality TV judge deny.

Police got involved in 2020 when criminal charges were brought against Mr Day, and after a shaky start – which included the death of a judge, Covid cases and a juror freed after someone had a allergic reaction to food – the trial resumed on Tuesday.

Mr Sebastian returned to the witness box where Crown Prosecutor David Morters SC continued to question him about the nature of his relationship with Mr Day.

Emails filed in court showed numerous attempts by Mr Sebastian’s accountants to obtain financial documents, such as unpaid commission invoices from 6 Degrees, needed to file a 2014 tax return.

The 6 Degrees staff member never provided the requested information or said he had to “hunt” Mr Day, the court heard.

Mr Sebastian told the court that ‘it was like blood pouring from a stone trying to get this reconciliation from Taylor Swift’ – a reference to the $494,000 Mr Day was paid on Mr Sebastian’s behalf when he acted as the American singer’s supporting act four times during his 2013 Australian tour.

“I had a resulting tax bill,” Mr. Sebastian said.

Part of Taylor Swift’s payments owed to Mr Sebastian are among the 50 Mr Day allegedly misappropriated.

Mr Sebastian told the court he also struggled to get Mr Day to provide financial information about the multi-million dollar You Me Us tour.

“Once again we were looking for financial reconciliation,” Mr. Sebastian said.

“Almost every tour was a nightmare that I constantly had to pursue. My accountants were going through a tough time.

The court was previously told that Mr Day had suggested to Mr Sebastian that the accountants had been ‘incompetent’ and that Mr Sebastian had then started using a new accounting firm.

Asked about the $66,000 McDonald’s paid him to perform at a reception in Cancun, Mr Sebastian said he was led to believe he only owed him $33,000 and no more.

“We discovered the actual payments through these invoices that one of my assistants, Rebecca Oxenbould, found in the office,” Mr Sebastian said.

Mr Day claimed $20,500 of McDonald’s money was withheld because he and his wife Courtney needed to be reimbursed ‘for a payment we made on Guy’s behalf to UK music promoter Solo as a fee to pay for Guy to appear as a support act for UK performer Shane Filan”.

Mr Sebastian performed in 2017 as a support act for Mr Filan, a pop singer who was a member of Irish boy band Westlife.

He said he was not informed of the $20,500 fee and would never have agreed to pay to perform as a support act for another artist.

Another payment Mr Sebastian said he was unaware of was for the $60,000 he raised for performing at a surprise birthday party in Jakarta.

The court was told that Mr. Day had withheld more than $5,000 from Mr. Sebastian and claimed to have transferred it to Tessy Schultz, a German manager, “to pay a fee owed by Guy”.

Mr Sebastian told the court he “was not responsible for paying Tessy Schultz”.

“The whole thing is just a stitch,” he said.

The trial continues.

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