Surely you didn't think that Marilyn Manson could hit South Florida without getting involved in some kind of ruckus. The latest incident involving the group, whose front man of the same name has been arrested twice in Florida for various on-stage indecencies, happened on December 17, following the second of two shows at the Edge in the band's former home base of Fort Lauderdale. After their set, they were served with a lawsuit filed by former Mansonite Brad Stewart, who played bass with the group under the stage name Gidget Gein.
The lawsuit claims damages in excess of $15,000 owed to Stewart in unpaid royalties and record company advances resulting from the 1994 release of the band's debut album, Portrait of an American Family. The album was issued on Nothing Records, a label owned by nine inch nails guru Trent Reznor and distributed by Los Angeles-based Interscope Records. Stewart performed all the bass tracks for the album and co-authored seven songs before being fired by the band in December 1993, reportedly owing to a heroin problem. Stewart seeks back payments for royalties beginning at the time of his termination. His attorney, John Bradley of the Fort Lauderdale firm John Bradley and Associates, P.A., claims that in addition to unpaid royalties, Stewart never received the remainder of his share (around $5000) of an estimated $75,000 that Interscope advanced to the group.
At press time, Nothing general manager Tony Ciulla said Marilyn Manson's attorney was out of the country and unavailable for comment. Meanwhile, Bradley admits that while Stewart did have a drug problem, that fact is not an issue in his client's case against Marilyn Manson. "Within a week or two after they fired him, there were claims of drug use," Bradley states, although he declines to specify what drug was allegedly abused. "But of [drug abuse], no one in the band was innocent. We're not contesting his being removed from the band, because you can't force a band to stay together. Brad is just looking to get the royalties for the songs he co-authored."
Stewart, who currently lives in Broward County where he performs as the vocalist for the Dollygaggers, co-founded Marilyn Manson in the early Nineties. An Interscope spokesperson says Marilyn Manson's debut album has sold about 150,000 copies since its release in July 1994. The band's latest album, Smells Like Children, includes remixed versions of songs Stewart co-wrote for Portrait. "It's sad," Bradley sighs. "In my opinion, there is no dispute that there is money due to Brad. This isn't a hanger-on case. He has no hard feelings toward the band at all.