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Reznor compares manager split to divorce

Nine Inch Nails singer says John Malm left his finances in disarray
/ Source: The Associated Press

Alternative-rocker Trent Reznor told a jury on Tuesday that firing his longtime manager after the finances of his band, Nine Inch Nails, deteriorated was “like a divorce.”

Testifying on his 40th birthday in a civil case he brought against John Malm, the singer said he was left with little choice when he realized the finances he had ignored for 15 years were in disarray.

“The last place I wanted to end up was sitting here right now,” Reznor said from the witness stand in Manhattan federal court. “This is like a divorce.”

Under questioning by Malm’s lawyer, Alan Hirth, Reznor admitted that he wrote a letter in the 1990s in which he said Malm would be his manager “until he chooses not to do so.”

Reznor also said that while he was actively involved in many of the band’s business dealings, he sometimes chose not to read contracts and financial information before signing documents.

Reznor testified Monday that he had as little as $400,000 in cash in 2003 after hundreds of thousands of dollars were lost annually on unnecessary expenses.

He also contends that Malm duped him into signing a contract that allowed the former manager to collect 20 percent of the singer’s gross earnings rather than net earnings. Reznor is seeking unspecified damages.

Nine Inch Nails’ latest single, “The Hand That Feeds,” is No. 2 on Billboard’s Top 20 list of modern rock tracks.