Eddie Money‘s former drummer claims the rocker mocked his disabilities onstage and repeatedly made lewd advances toward his fiancee, according to an amended lawsuit filed last week in California state court.
Glenn Symmonds sued Money in October for wrongful termination, claiming he was fired because of his age and physical disabilities stemming from bladder cancer and a back injury. Symmonds also claimed he suffered emotional distress because Money sexually harassed his fiancee Tami Landrum.
Now Symmonds is stepping up the harassment claims with new attorneys and a new venue; the case has been moved to Los Angeles from Sacramento.
Landrum claims Money repeatedly made sexual comments to her and often tried to kiss her on the mouth.
During a private party in 2013, the suit claims, Money dedicated “Think I’m in Love” to Landrum and while facing her onstage “unzipped his pants, and put his thumb through is zipper (intending his thumb to look like his penis) and began to gyrate his hips and dance while he wiggled his thumb.” The same year, during a radio interview, the suit claims Money pretended a microphone was his penis and hit Landrum in the face with it.
Symmonds also claims after decades of friendship, he was subjected to “constant ridicule and harassment due to his disabilities of bladder cancer and a back injury.” He says Money mocked him onstage for urinary incontinence caused by chemotherapy, telling the crowd their tour was sponsored by Depends adult diapers.
The lawsuit claims things came to a head in May 2015 after Money dragged Landrum into a bathroom during an argument and blocked her exit. Landrum alerted Symmonds who confronted Money. The band was “laid off” the next week, but within months everyone except Symmonds and Landrum was back to work, which they claim was a result of the confrontation and Symmonds’ disabilities.
Money’s attorney Dina LaPolt calls the pleading “specious and ludicrous.” She says Symmonds is fabricating bogus claims after realizing his age discrimination lawsuit has no merit.
“Plaintiffs are shameless scammers looking to shake down Eddie because he is a celebrity,” LaPolt says. “In their convoluted and confusing amended complaint, they’ve thrown all sorts of things against the wall in hopes that something will stick. Nothing will. Eddie intends to take vigorous and aggressive legal action to counter these outrageous and blatantly false allegations against him.”
In a January court filing, Money claims he notified his band members that he would spend the summer of 2015 touring with his children and the band would rejoin him at the end of the season. While several band members were disappointed, Money says Symmonds and Landrum responded with a “malicious and unwarranted attack” by writing disparaging posts online claiming they had been fired and leaving threatening voicemails with concert promoters telling them not to pay Money.
“The fact that Eddie did not invite Plaintiff to rejoin the band had nothing whatsoever to do with his age,” states the brief. “Nor did it have anything to do with any illness or disability that he suffered. It was based entirely on how inappropriately Plaintiff reacted upon hearing that Eddie wanted to tour with his adult children during the summer.”
Money is represented in the lawsuit by Bill Hochberg and Charles Shepard of Greenberg Glusker.
Symmonds’ attorney Lawrance Bohm says he intends to depose everyone from band members to vendors and volunteers.
“I would expect no less than 40 to 50 depositions,” he says, adding that he wants to send a message to musicians. “I feel like the rock and roll music industry has given itself permission to mistreat women. Whether you’re Eddie Money, or anyone else for that matter, you’re not above the law.”