Aussie Promoter Slams Journo’s “Character Assassination”

Andrew McManus has issued a response to a June article published by the Sydney Morning Herald, which claimed the promoter withheld funds from bands, avoided tax payments, and smuggled tour funds into Australia. McManus has branded the article “gutter journalism by a bottom feeder”.

The article, titled Andrew McManus and the big bag of cash and written by Fairfax reporter Kate McClymont, linked the promoter, who’s been behind tours from Fleetwood Mac, Meat Loaf, and Kiss, to a lost bag containing $702,000 cash, citing a 2012 police interview with McManus himself.

“Miss McClymont made false and libellous statements hiding behind journalistic protection and the draconian deformation [sic] laws with financial ceilings that have been set into Australian law,” writes McManus in his response to what he calls the “defaming and character damaging article.”

McManus writes that McClymont’s claim that he “withheld funds from bands including Fleetwood Mac” is “probably the most scurrilous and damaging claim she made”. He insists that Fleetwood Mac received all of their fee, their taxes were paid in full, and that “no monies were ever withheld.”

Regarding his tax activities, McManus writes, “I can verify a $8,000.00 a month plan I make to the Australian Tax Office paying off past taxes totalling over ‘A Quarter of a Million Dollars’. This payment is for a company of which I was one of three Directors. I am now paying all three Directors shares to make sure ALL taxes are paid (copy of ATO instalment plan available for justification).”

The promoter claims McClymont never reached out to him for comment, writing, “It is astonishing Miss McClymont never requested an interview, asked a question or made contact with me directly. It is much easier to fabricate and damage someone when they can’t respond or retaliate.”

According to an interview McManus gave to News Limited earlier this month, the police interview on which McClymont’s claims are based was conducted during a tumultuous period in the promoter’s life. “I was on a lot of morphine, I was drinking, and I was not in a good place,” said McManus.

Speaking to Tone Deaf, McManus said he was unsure of why the police interview was drudged up. “From what my understanding… the Police ran this case, what? Last three years? So they’ve cost the taxpayers of New South Wales nearly a million dollars. They turn around and go, ‘We need a scalp – take whoever you can’. And when this journalist has gone in and dug in to find out who the players were, I’m the easiest mark. And so they try to character assassinate me again.”

McManus told Tone Deaf that the bag containing $702,000 was intended to pay back Owen Hanson Jnr — who McClymont’s report described as a US-based money-lender — on behalf of ZZ Top for a tour. “What they did with subsequently thereafter should be none of my business,” said McManus.

“Miss McClymont may hide behind the deep pockets and layers of lawyers afforded by Fairfax Media, but every dog has their day and bad news sells newspapers, irrespective of the damage done to name, business and affiliates directly affected by the slander,” concludes McManus in his statement.

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