Jared Leto’s band 30 Seconds To Mars is being sued by Virgin Records for alleged breach of contract, having failed to deliver three of the five albums expected of them during their time with the label. Althought the band claims it was within its legal rights to leave its contract with Virgin, the band were still almost a million and half dollars in debt.
Gone are the days of major labels offering an unlimited unrecoupable cash supply to haughty pop stars and their disaffected, mascara-streaked cohort. 30STM should have realized that any of Virgin’s money that they spent on fancy videos, angsty outfits, and trying to make Jared Leto seem a bit nicer, was money coming out of the band’s own pocket.
So, all these years later, when the label comes around looking to recoup its ‘investment’, what is there for Leto & co. to whine about? Well, lots, apparently.
30 Seconds To Mars frontman Jared Leto has responded to Virgin Records’ $30 million lawsuit for alleged breach of contract and damages, describing the legal action as “insane” but expressing his hope for “a resolution to this in as civil and kind a way as possible.”
Virgin is suing the band for alleged breach of contract and damages “in excess of $30,000,000”, according to paperwork filed Friday (Aug. 15) in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Virgin accuses Jared and Shannon Leto of not delivering three of the five albums under the band’s contract, which it entered into in 1999 with Immortal Records. Virgin took over the contract in 2004, according to the suit, which adds that the Letos “repudiated” the 1999 contract “and claimed that they were excused from such performance from and after July 4, 2008, pursuant to California Labor Code Sec. 2855(a).”
30STM were still $1.4 million in debt to Virgin, prior to leaving the label:
Leto makes various claims in his posting, stating that the band were unhappy that they had sold two million albums yet were “still $1.4 million in debt” and that the “next record we make will be used to pay off that old supposed debt.”
However, it is understood that EMI will cite its funding of 30 Seconds To Mars’ tours and videos, directed by Leto, as evidence of a major financial contribution to the band’s career.