Guy Sebastian is questioned about an incident from his past and the circumstances surrounding a police investigation into his ex-manager.
Guy Sebastian has been summoned in court for telling people he headbutted an intruder who broke into his Sydney home while his wife and newborn son slept.
The Voice judge recalled the incident during a cross-examination during the embezzlement trial of his former manager Titus Day.
“I had a newborn baby sleeping, I was in my recording studio…I got a call from my wife about this person trying to get into our house through my little boy’s window and as a result I came home,” Mr Sebastian told the court on Tuesday.
“When I got home, the man who tried to break in was still there. I chased him.”
However, the court heard suggestions that the singer was telling people different stories about what happened next.
When asked repeatedly if he had headbutted the intruder, Mr Sebastian said no.
But he agreed with Dominic Toomey SC who performs for Mr Day, he told people that afterwards.
“While I was holding him, he tried to grab me…elbow me and kick me…he grabbed my” [motorbike] helmet,” said Mr Sebastian.
“I’ve told people I knocked him out…I didn’t headbutt him…I agree I told people I headbutted him.
“You’re suggesting I headbutted him on purpose, but it didn’t work out that way.”
The incident was raised in connection with its inclusion in a Suspended Violence Warrant issued by Titus Day.
Mr Sebastian got the AVO request two days before he reported Mr Day to the police over the embezzlement allegations.
Sebastian said his former manager tried to ‘arm’ the incident by including it in his AVO.
Titus Day, 49, is on trial in NSW District Court after being charged with 50 counts of fraudulent embezzlement of approximately $900,000 in royalties, performances and ambassador payments the singer allegedly owed.
The one-time agent of celebrities such as Grant Denyer and Sophie Monk is also battling 50 alternative theft charges.
Mr Sebastian gave Mr Day a great deal of control over his finances when the couple worked together between 2009 and 2017, with most of the income the singer generated going directly to Mr Day’s company 6 Degrees.
After the money came in, Mr. Day was instructed to pay out a pre-agreed amount of commission and to pay Mr. Sebastian the rest.
When the couple’s relationship came to a bitter rift, Mr. Sebastian claimed he discovered anomalies that led him to file a lawsuit against Mr. Day in a bid to get back the money he allegedly owed.
Mr Day responded with a cross-claim claiming it was he who owed money to Mr Sebastian – a claim the former Australian Idol winner and the reality TV show judge denies.
Police became involved in 2020 when a criminal charge was brought against Mr Day, and after a shaky start – including the death of a judge, Covid cases and a juror fired after someone suffered an allergic reaction to food – the trial resumed on Tuesday.
Crown Prosecutor David Morters SC asked Mr. Sebastian further questions about his relationship with Mr. Day.
The court was told of a heated exchange between Sebastian and Day in December 2017, when they met at a restaurant to “tie up loose ends”.
“The meeting took a turn for the worse,” Sebastian recalls.
“Mr Day said, ‘You’re going to pay commission until 2022’.
“I said something along the lines of ‘it’s not backyard cricket, we’re just not making it up’. You know very well that there are no lagging commissions.”
Tracking commissions are commissions paid to a manager after a contract has ended and Mr Sebastian said there was no agreement for Mr Day to be entitled to this after their relationship ended.
“Titus got quite angry, Timbo (a friend) made sure he calmed down,” said Mr Sebastian.
“We all walked out, of course it wasn’t the nicest meeting at the end.”
Emails filed in court revealed that Mr Sebastian’s accountants made numerous attempts to obtain financial documents, such as outstanding 6 Degrees commission invoices, which were required to complete a 2014 tax return.
The 6 Degrees staff member either never provided the information requested or told them to “rush it” with Mr. Day, the court was told.
Sebastian told the court that “it was like blood trying to get this atonement from Taylor Swift” – a reference to the $494,000 Mr Day paid on behalf of Mr Sebastian when he performed as the support act for the American singer during her 2013 Australian tour.
“As a result, I got a tax bill,” said Mr Sebastian.
Some of the Taylor Swift payments owed to Mr Sebastian are among the 50 Mr Day allegedly embezzled.
Sebastian told the court that he also found it difficult to get Mr Day to provide financial information about the multimillion-dollar You Me Us tour.
“We were looking for financial reconciliation again,” Sebastian said.
“Almost every tour was a nightmare that I would have to constantly chase. My accountants had a hard time.”
The court was previously told that Mr. day to mr. Sebastian had suggested that the accountants had shown “incompetence” and Mr. Sebastian later started using a new accounting firm.
When questioned about $66,000 that McDonald’s paid him to perform for a position in Cancun, Mr. Sebastian said he was led to believe he only owed $33,000 and no more.
“The way we found out the actual payments were through this billing information that an assistant of mine, Rebecca Oxenbould, found in the office,” said Mr Sebastian.
Day claimed that $20,500 of the McDonald’s money had been withheld because he and his wife Courtney had to be repaid “for a payment we made on behalf of Guy to British music promoter Solo as compensation to be paid for Guy to act as opening act for UK performer Shane Filan”.
In 2017, Mr Sebastian opened for Mr Filan, a pop singer who was a member of the Irish boy band Westlife.
He said he was not told about the $20,500 fee and that he would never have agreed to pay to open for another artist.
Another payment that Mr Sebastian said he was not aware of involved $60,000 he collected for performing at a surprise birthday party in Jakarta.
The court was told that Mr. Day over $5,000 from Mr. Sebastian had withheld and claimed that he had transferred it to… Tessy Schultz, a German manager, “to pay a fee Guy owes”.
Sebastian told the court he was “not responsible for paying Tessy Schultz”.
“The whole thing is just a stitch up,” he said.
The process continues.
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