Mötley Crüe has called guitarist Mick Mars’ lawsuit against the band “unfortunate.” In a statement to Rolling Stone, the band responded to the suit, which was made public yesterday, and rebutted claims that they ousted him from the group and cut him out of profits.
“Mick’s lawsuit is unfortunate and completely off-base,” the band wrote in a statement. “In 2008, Mick voted for and signed an agreement in which he and every other band member agreed that ‘in no event shall any resigning shareholder be entitled to receive any monies attributable to live performances (i.e., tours).’ After the last tour, Mick publicly resigned from Mötley Crüe.”
The lawsuit claims that Mars (real name Robert Alan Deal) announced he could no longer tour with the group due to his ongoing battle with ankylosing spondylitis — a disease that causes vertebrae to fuse — but that he would still participate in residencies and concerts that don’t involve excessive travel. According to the suit, the group then decided to “fire” Mars via a shareholders’ meeting as an officer of Crüe’s corporation and six other related businesses.
Mars has asked a judge to allow him to inspect the band’s business records and to be awarded attorneys’ fees and other unspecified money.
“Despite the fact that the band did not owe Mick anything — and with Mick owing the band millions in advances that he did not pay back — the band offered Mick a generous compensation package to honor his career with the band,” the band responded. “Manipulated by his manager and lawyer, Mick refused and chose to file this ugly public lawsuit.”
The lawsuit alleges that during the group’s Stadium Tour, Mötley Crüe members Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee and Vince Neil weren’t playing and singing completely live. Mars claims that Sixx allegedly gaslighted him about his playing, all while Sixx himself wasn’t playing the bass.
“Astonishingly, Sixx made these claims about Mars’ playing while he (Sixx) did not play a single note on bass during the entire U.S. tour,” the lawsuit states. “Ironically, 100% of Sixx’s bass parts were nothing but recordings. Sixx was seen fist pumping in the air with his strumming hand, while the bass part was playing.”
“In fact, a significant portion of Neil’s vocals were also pre-recorded,” it continues. “Even some of Lee’s drum parts were recordings. Some fans actually noticed that Lee was walking toward his drum set as they heard his drum part begin.”
In the statement to Rolling Stone, Mötley Crüe refutes these allegations, calling them “equally unfortunate.” A representative for the band shared statements from the group’s crew supporting their assertions.
“Mötley Crüe always performs its songs live but during the last tour Mick struggled to remember chords, played the wrong songs and made constant mistakes which led to his departure from the band,” Mötley Crüe said. “The band did everything to protect him, tried to keep these matters private to honor Mick’s legacy and take the high road. Unfortunately, Mick chose to file this lawsuit to badmouth the band.”
They concluded, “The band feels empathy for Mick, wishes him well and hopes that he can get better guidance from his advisors who are driven by greed.”
Mars played his last gig with the band on September 9, 2022. “While change is never easy, we accept Mick’s decision to retire from the band due to the challenges with his health,” Neil, Sixx, and Lee said in a joint statement at the time, adding, “We’ll continue to honor his musical legacy.”
Mötley Crüe have a handful of dates booked alongside Def Leppard for their ongoing Stadium Tour this summer.