February 24, 2016
Ex-Sony music mogul pockets $150,000 from book deal with Hachette, doesn’t write book
by Simon Reichley
According to reports in the New York Daily News and the New York Post, former Sony Music CEO Tommy Mottola is being sued by Hachette Book Group for failing to deliver a manuscript of The Bronx School of Business, a title for which he was under contract, and for which he had already received a $150,000 advance.
According to Victoria Bekiempis at the New York Daily News:
Music Mogul Tommy Mottola never turned in a book he had agreed to write on his rise from Bronx-born college dropout to pop music hitmaker—but pocketed the $150,000 advance anyway, new court filings claim.
The former Mr. Mariah Carey inked a deal with Hachette Book Group in 2011 to write “The Bronx School of Business,” detailing how his street smarts led to success, the publisher says in a Manhattan Federal Court lawsuit.
Hachette moved to ax the deal last year after Mottola, 67, blew repeated deadlines, but he has not repaid the advance, the suit says.
Mottola made hay in the 1990s, signing and promoting The Dixie Chicks and Destiny’s Child, among other artists, and releasing digitally remastered classic recordings by Bruce Springsteen, Barbara Streisand, and Billy Joel. In 2013, Hachette published Hitmaker, an autobiography which “lays bare the facts behind the most sensational aspects of [Mottola’s] life, such as being married to and developing the career of Mariah Carey, managing Michael Jackson‘s emotional ups and downs, and the power struggle with his onetime boss and mentor Walter Yetnikoff.”
This isn’t Mottola’s first big controversy. Jackson famously sparred with Mottola during the release of his 1991 comeback record, Invincible. According to a 2002 VH1 report by Jessica Vineyard, Jackson called Mottola “a devil” at a fan club event in London, and really went off during a speech he gave at Al Sharpton‘s National Action Network in Harlem, stating: “The recording companies really, really do conspire against the artists. They steal, they cheat, they do everything they can.”
Simon Reichley is the Director of Operations and Rights Manager at Melville House.