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Tommy Mottola Sued By Publishing Company for Not Delivering a Book on Business

The publishing house would like its money back.

Tommy Mottola is a legendary name in the music business. The Bronx native played a key role in the careers of Hall & Oates, Carly Simon and John Mellencamp, married and mentored and divorced Mariah Carey, and ascended to the Chief Executive chair at Sony Music, leading the company through the halcyon ’90s, which were a march towards the historic 2000 peak of the record business. 

Mottola capitalized (well, relatively, depending on how much one can expect to make in the book business — he reportedly took home a $20 million severance package after an acrimonious ouster from Sony in 2003) on that success by writing Hitmaker: The Man and His Music, released in Jan. 2013. The book was a biography co-written with Cal Fussman, detailing his beginnings in the music publishing business before his subsequent rise and its attendant speed bumps.

Mottola wasn’t done with his word processor however, having signed a separate contract with Grand Central Publishing (which also published Hitmaker), a division of publishing house Hachette, two years before the release of Hitmaker that would see him deliver a manuscript focused on business advice titled The Bronx School of Business. That book is the subject of a straightforward lawsuit brought against Mottola by Hachette for his allegedly having never delivered the work.

In a suit filed Feb. 22 in U.S. court of New York, Hachette estimates Mottola’s net worth to be around $200 million. They say $150,000 of that staggering sum is their money, an advance given to the executive ahead of his beginning to work on Bronx. Hachette alleges Mottola was given a year-and-a-half extension on the due date, which they say he did not sign, before granting him another four-month extension, which they say he also did not sign.

Hachette is suing for its money back, plus interest. Representatives for Mottola did not immediately respond to a request for comment.