NASHVILLE — Jack Russell, leader of Great White, has filed a multimillion-dollar libel suit against Charrie Foglio, a former publicist for the band.
Causes of action in the suit — which was filed June 30 in Los Angeles Superior Court — are slander, invasion of privacy (false light) and a preliminary and permanent injunction.
The suit contends that Foglio falsely told the press and others that Russell and his manager, Obi Steinman, were stealing money from the Station Family Fund, a charity for the victims of the 2003 fire at the Station Club in West Warwick, R.I. The fire, which occurred during a performance by Great White, killed 100 people and injured about 200.
The lawsuit, filed by longtime Russell attorney Ed McPherson of McPherson & Kalmansohn in L.A., says Foglio was fired in July 2003 because she made false statements to the press about Great White in order to advance her career.
The suit claims that after she was fired, Foglio threatened Russell and Steinman, saying that if they did not pay her a severance package, she would contact the press or a Rhode Island grand jury that was investigating the fire and tell them Russell and Steinman were embezzling money from the Station Family Fund.
When Russell and Steinman refused, the suit claims, Foglio followed through on her threats. A Station Family Fund investigation later proved the charges false, the suit says.
“Jack Russell voluntarily gave up profits the band and he might have made last year on a 41-city tour because he genuinely wanted to help these victims and their families,” McPherson tells ELW.
“For someone to say after the fact that he somehow wanted to steal from these people or hurt them is deplorable,” McPherson continues. “It shows malicious intent toward Jack and his manager, and it’s completely untrue, and that’s why we felt compelled to file this action this morning.”
Russell seeks compensatory damages of at least $10 million and unspecified punitive damages.
Foglio could not be reached for comment.