Reznor Wins Suit, Cancels MTV Gig

Trent Reznor scored a landslide victory in a Manhattan court May 27th when the jury in his civil trial awarded him a $2.9 million judgment against former manager and business partner John Malm.

The Nine Inch Nails frontman won every claim in the suit, which was filed in 2004 after Malm attempted to sue Reznor for $2 million in allegedly unpaid commissions.

Reznor testified that Malm mismanaged his finances and cheated him out of millions of dollars. Malm handled the band’s financial business from the late ’80s and co-founded Nothing Records with Reznor in 1991.

According to the singer, Malm abused his trust and tricked him into signing a contract giving the manager 50 percent of the label plus 20 percent of Nine Inch Nails’ gross revenue.

Reznor met with Malm and a lawyer in 2003 and was shocked to learn that he had as little as $400,000 in cash and $3 million in total assets – “a tenth” of what he had been told he had, Reznor reportedly told the U.S. District Court.

Malm’s lawyer, Alan Hirth, said his client worked pro bono for years and never kept anything a secret from Reznor.

The rocker admitted during testimony that he often ignored his finances and signed contracts without reading them.

The $2.9 million judgment could reportedly double with interest. As part of the suit, Reznor regained all rights to his trademarks.

Several days following the judgment, Nine Inch Nails pulled out of a scheduled June 4th performance at the MTV Movie Awards after clashing with network brass over an image of President George W. Bush.

The band planned to perform its single “The Hand That Feeds” with an “unmolested, straightforward image of George W. Bush as the backdrop,” Reznor said in a post on the band’s Web site.

The song’s lyrics are generally interpreted as a criticism of the Iraq war, with Reznor singing, “What if this whole crusade’s a charade / And behind it all there’s a price to be paid / For the blood on which we dine / Justified in the name of the holy and divine.”

“While we respect Nine Inch Nails’ point of view, we were uncomfortable with their performance being built around a partisan political statement,” MTV representatives said.

The network announced that Foo Fighters would perform at the awards instead.

“Apparently, the image of our president is as offensive to MTV as it is to me,” Reznor said.