Elton John Legal Fight Begins

October 30, 2000 -- Elton John's $29 million lawsuit against a top firm of accountants began today, with his lawyer making clear the Rocket Man's distaste for "men in suits."

John did not make an appearance in London's High Court on the first day of the trial, which is expected to last as long as eight weeks. He is expected, however, to give evidence during the affair.

John is suing PriceWaterhouseCoopers over money he claims is missing. Also named in the writ is Andrew Haydon, former managing director of John Reid Enterprises, which managed Elton's affairs.

Elton's lawyer, Gordon Pollock, told the court that John, because of his dislike for "men in suits," left the administrative details of his business to others, whom he "trusted … implicitly" and had paid handsomely for their services.

But, said Pollack, after he split with longtime manager John Reid, an audit determined that he was short as much as $29 million. John also sued Reid as an individual in a separate suit, which has been settled for $5 million.

At issue is a 1984 agreement that, said John's lawyer, both increased the income of Reid's company, and in doing so, made John Reid Enterprises liable for John's touring expenses. But, said Pollack in court today John discovered that his business entities "bore several million pounds worth of costs or fees which we say contractually should have fallen on [John Reid Enterprises]."