Reznor Ripped Off?

Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor testified in a Manhattan court May 16th against his longtime manager, John Malm, saying he was stunned to learn in 2003 that despite millions of dollars earned by his band, he was left with as little as $400,000 in cash.

“I felt I had an accountant I couldn’t trust,” Reznor said in his federal civil lawsuit.

In court, the singer reportedly said Malm had been with him from the day he started Nothing Records in 1991 and that he was duped into letting Malm take a 50 percent stake in the label plus 20 percent of the group’s gross revenues.

Malm’s lawyer, Alan Hirth, said his client worked many years for no salary and kept nothing secret from Reznor. Hirth added that the vast majority of Reznor and the band’s million-dollar earnings went into the singer’s pockets.

Reznor testified that he trusted Malm more than anyone in his life when he agreed to let him handle his finances in the ’80s as Nine Inch Nails signed its first record deal.

“John was the business guy and I was the guy working for nothing in the studio,” Reznor told jurors.

The singer admitted to ignoring his finances and sometimes signing documents without reading or understanding them. He became concerned with his financial situation during a 2002 meeting when Malm and a lawyer told him there was “cause for alarm.”

The following year, Reznor wanted to know how much money he had and asked Malm to figure it out. A financial statement was sent that revealed he had at most $3 million in total assets and as little as $400,000 in cash.

Reznor’s suit counters one that Malm filed in April 2004 alleging the singer owes him more than $2 million in commissions.