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Elton John Loses Multimillion-dollar Court Battle

6/25/2002

LONDON (Reuters) - Pop superstar Elton John on Monday lost thelatest round of a British court fight with his former accountantsPricewaterhouseCoopers over touring costs he believes he should neverhave paid.

The singer unsuccessfully asked the Court of Appeal to allow him toreopen his case against the firm for negligence in managing hisfinances after losing a High Court case in which he revealed details ofhis extravagant lifestyle.

John was left with an estimated $11.8 million legal bill afterlosing the complex case last year in which he had sought to recover $21million in overseas touring costs and interest.

He had also unsuccessfully sued Andrew Haydon, former managingdirector of John Reid Enterprises Ltd. which looked after the singer'saffairs for many years, claiming the company should have paid thetouring expenses.

During the appeal hearing, John's lawyer Mark Howard QC said thesinger, who was not in court, was seeking to reopen his case againstthe accountants because the firm's failure to report to him on thesituation resulted in him losing the ability to recover the money fromhis former manager.

"The total costs borne by Sir Elton in this way amount to just underseven million pounds ($10.5 million). He claims these sums togetherwith interest," said Howard.

At the court case last year, that interest was estimated to be atleast another $10.5 million.

During the case last year, the court heard headline-grabbing detailsof John's extravagant lifestyle. The judge was told how the singerspent nearly $26 million in a 20-month period, including the purchaseof almost $200,000 worth of flowers.

Lord Justice Robert Walker, one of the three Court of Appeal judgeshearing the case, said he had "come to the same conclusion as the HighCourt judge" who ruled that he did not find the accountants negligent.The singer was refused permission to reopen his suit.

John, who once boasted he could find a shop in the Sahara Desert,has four luxury homes and a passion for vintage cars, jewelry, partiesand outrageous clothes.

The musician has sold over 100 million albums during his long careerand achieved superstar status with hits such as "Candle in the Wind"and "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road."

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