Bank statements filed in court show Guy Sebastian’s former manager correctly paid the singer despite being accused of failing to do so.
Pop star Guy Sebastian has told a court he was properly paid over $100,000 by the former manager accused of embezzling and stealing funds from him.
Titus Day is on trial in the NSW District Court on charges of embezzling a total of almost $900,000 in royalties, performance and ambassadorial payments from the former Australian Idol winner.
Mr Day, 49, denies wrongdoing and claims Mr Sebastian owes him money.
When Mr Sebastian entered the witness box on Wednesday, he was presented with a series of documents showing bank transfers from Mr Day’s former company account to his own.
In one case, the court was told about $138,000 in royalties Sony Music paid to Mr. Day’s company in July 2014.
Mr. Sebastian agreed that documents presented to the court showed that Mr. Day had correctly deducted a 20% commission and deposited around $111,000 into his bank account.
Although the correct amount was transferred, the court heard that Mr Day was accused of failing to pay Mr Sebastian correctly.
The court was told there had been at least three other occasions when the correct amount had been transferred by Mr Day, but he had been charged.
When defense barrister Dominic Toomey SC asked Mr Sebastian if he was paying attention when police went through bank documents before charges were brought, Mr Sebastian said: “I did my best to follow… there was definitely a lot to do.”
“From what you’re presenting to me, it looks like the numbers are adding up…it’s an oversight,” Mr Sebastian told Mr Toomey.
“I am still not aware of the individual charges.”
In total, Mr. Day was charged with 50 counts of fraudulent misappropriation of payments.
During his cross-examination of the singer, Mr. Toomey asked Mr. Sebastian if he failed to disclose a $30,000 performance payment that Mr. Day was supposed to know about.
Mr Sebastian initially told the court he could not recall if he had been paid to perform at a Clintons Toyota event in 2017.
When bank statements were presented showing that the $30,000 had been transferred to Mr. Sebastian from Clintons Toyota, he said: “I really don’t know what it was for.”
“I would always let Titus know, always. It was never close to any of my intentions to scam Mr. Day, ever.
Earlier today he dismissed the suggestion he was ‘evasive’ when asked about the management deal he and Mr Day struck in 2009.
“I have no reason to be (evasive),” Mr Sebastian said.
“I knew we didn’t have a signed contract.
“I was paying Mr. Day about half a million dollars a year, so I was definitely paying my end of the bargain.”
As part of the deal, Mr Sebastian told the court that Mr Day received a 20% commission for his role in securing the singer’s income through gigs and ambassadorial roles.
Mr Sebastian said that although the two men agreed that their agreement would mirror the one that was in place when they both worked with the company 22 Management, he never read a document setting out the terms of the agreement .
“I was extremely busy,” he said.
“I knew there was no agreement between me and Mr. Day that was legally binding.”
When Mr Sebastian told Mr Day he wanted a new manager in 2017, the court heard that Mr Sebastian had offered to continue paying a commission for the work Mr Day had done to secure revenue that would have been generated after the end of their contract.
“I just wanted to be true to my word with Mr. Day,” Mr. Sebastian said.
“I told him (Mr. Day) everything you worked on, I’ll pay you a commission.”
In response, Mr. Toomey told Mr. Sebastian that “you were not willing to pay commission to Mr. Day on things like that out of the goodness of your heart…you were obligated to pay commission” .
Mr. Sebastian said “I don’t agree with that”.
The trial continues.
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