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Jury awards Nine Inch Nails singer $2.95 million

Reznor sued former manager for breach of contract, fraud
/ Source: The Associated Press

A jury awarded Nine Inch Nails alternative rocker Trent Reznor $2.95 million after finding his former manager breached his contract and acted fraudulently, a lawyer said Tuesday.

The jury in Manhattan federal court delivered the verdict Friday against John Malm, Reznor's longtime manager, said attorney Zia F. Modabber. The award likely would top $4 million when interest is added.

Modabber said he called Reznor, who is on tour, with the news.

"He was almost silent at first. It's still sinking in," Modabber said. "It's been a difficult thing for him in a lot of ways. They were very, very close friends."

A lawyer for Malm did not immediately return a call for comment Tuesday.

The civil verdict came after a three-week trial in which Reznor testified that he was stunned to learn in 2003 that despite millions of dollars in earnings, he was left with as little as $400,000 in cash.

"I felt I had an accountant I couldn't trust," Reznor testified.

Reznor sued Malm, contending he duped Reznor into signing a contract that gave Malm 20 percent of his gross earnings rather than net earnings, and let Malm collect the commission forever.

A lawyer for Malm, Alan Hirth, said in an opening statement that Malm worked many years for no salary — and kept nothing secret from Reznor.

Nine Inch Nails' fourth studio album and first in six years, "With Teeth," debuted last month at No. 1 in sales.