Stewart Ordered To Pay

Rod Stewart got the short end of a lawsuit in Las Vegas and has been told to pay Harrah’s Entertainment $2 million plus interest for a concert he could not play.

Stewart and Harrah’s property Rio Suite Hotel & Casino had been at odds over a show that was scheduled to take place in December 2000 as a follow-up to a Stewart show a year earlier, when he ushered in the millennium. The singer had to cancel the follow-up gig because of throat surgery.

The casino wanted its $2 million advance returned but Stewart’s people held the money, arguing the contract offered the chance to reschedule. The singer, who was not in court when the verdict was read, said he offered to play two shows for the price of one.

Jury foreman Stevan Jorgensen said the issue boiled down to a misunderstanding.

“We felt it was only fair that if Mr. Stewart didn’t perform the concert that he should give the money back,” Jorgensen said.

Another juror added, “The best conclusion that was fair to both parties was that it was a misunderstanding of the contract.”

Rio attorney Steve Morris said he was delighted and relieved by the verdict. Stewart lawyer Kerry Garvis Wright said the decision would be appealed.