Roth Sues Former Van Halen Bandmates
Singer David Lee Roth is suing Warner Bros. Records and his former bandmates in Van Halen, accusing them of conspiring to keep royalty money from him, PEOPLE reports.
The suit, filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges that guitarist Eddie Van Halen, drummer Alex Van Halen and bassist Michael Anthony diverted money from Roth, who claims the band signed a 1996 contract with Warner Bros. to increase its royalty share. (Warners, like PEOPLE, is part of AOL Time Warner.)
Roth claims the Warners contract was completed without his knowledge and was done with “malice, fraud and oppression.”
He’s now asking for a review of accounting records to calculate proper royalty figures and to determine interest charges. Roth claims to have been cheated out of at least $200,000 through December 2001.
A Warner Bros. Records spokesperson has not commented on the lawsuit.
Van Halen is currently without a label after being dropped by Warners earlier this year. The group — also currently without a singer following the departure of frontman No. 3, Gary Cherone — has been largely inactive over the past couple years, while Eddie Van Halen has battled tongue cancer.
Roth, 47, served as the band’s lead singer for eight years before going solo. He reunited with Van Halen briefly in 1996 to add some lead vocals to the group’s “Greatest Hits” album, but the reunion turned sour. The singer did, however, team up with his onetime Van Halen replacement, singer Sammy Hagar, for a tour over the summer.