Smokey Robinson Emerges Victorious In Lawsuit Brought On By Former Manager
Smokey Robinson‘s former manager has lost his lawsuit against the Motown legend.
According to Billboard, a federal jury found that Eric Podwall, who claimed that the “Tears of a Clown” singer owed him nearly $1 million in touring profits, did not prove his case against the legendary performer. The verdict closes a case that dragged on for more than six years.
In a written statement, Robinson’s attorney, Sasha Frid, said, “This is a great result and victory for Smokey. The jury did its job and got it right. Smokey is not only a great artist, but he is also a man of integrity who honors his contracts. Here, he didn’t owe millions, as Podwall claimed; and refused to be taken advantage of by his former manager. We are honored to represent him.”
The lawsuit against the singer was initiated in 2016, with Podwall alleging that Robinson signed a “binding written agreement” with him in 2012 for management services. The former manager said Robinson agreed to give him 10 percent of everything Robinson had gotten for services rendered during the contract term.
Podwall claimed he helped Robinson through several business deals and more than 100 of his performances, but that Robinson later reneged on the agreement.
Robinson denied the claim, saying their deal was meant to cover a subset of his income, such as film and television fees.
Jurors heard directly from Robinson during the three-day trial last week.
Podwall did not leave empty-handed, however: The jury awarded him $2,000, agreeing that he was owed that amount from a record advance Robinson had received. In a statement to Billboard, Podwall’s attorney, Jesse Kaplan, stated that while the jurors had agreed with his client on specific issues, Robinson “still found a way to not pay his manager.”
Robinson, 83, is best known for his work with The Miracles as well as a raft of solo hits.