Sly Vs. Jerry

Sly Stone is suing his former manager, Jerry Goldstein, for allegedly withholding 20 years’ worth of royalty payments from the reclusive singer, among other charges.

The lawsuit, filed Jan. 28 in Los Angeles Superior Court, accuses Goldstein and several affiliates of fraud, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and conversion for diverting, converting and misappropriating royalties and assets, according to a statement from Stone’s attorney, Robert J. Allan.

The suit seeks approximately $30 million in back royalty payments. Compensatory and punitive damages are also sought for Stone, who reportedly has relied on Social Security to get by at times.

Allan claims Stone relied on and trusted Goldstein to manage his affairs as Sly and The Family Stone’s star kept rising in the 1960s and 1970s, but instead the troubled frontman was taken advantage of.

“Not satisfied with the royalties he diverted from Sly Stone, Goldstein, without Stone’s knowledge or consent, registered his trademark name – Sly and The Family Stone – with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as owned by a Goldstein company and borrowed millions of dollars secured by Sly’s future royalties,” according to the statement.

“Since being advised of the fraud, BMI … has co-operated with Stone’s counsel and has refused to pay any further royalties for his musical compositions to Goldstein or his collaborators. Defendants Warner Chappell and Sony Music have refused to pay any royalties pending a resolution of Stone’s claims.”

Joining Stone in the lawsuit is radio mogul Ken Roberts, a former manager, who is suing Goldstein for fraud and identity theft.

Roberts claims Goldstein stole the name and identity of a company that Roberts incorporated in 1975 when he managed Stone, but later dissolved, to divert Stone’s BMI royalties, the statement said.