In 1993 I worked as journalist on George Michael` Court Restraint of Trade contract battle at Londons High Court.
I was fortunate to have spoken with George wished him luck, and managed to get answers from his legal team for my stories. Georges music publisher,Dick Leahy was particularly helpful over the 8 month stint. Below are still shots from ITN news footage, and Music Week Magazine, of his first and last days of the court battle, and here I am on day one, behind George as he leaves court.
George Michael leaves High Court October 18th 1993. Me behind him. I was mortified and shy with head bowed as papparazzi moved in for pics. Funny.
Strangely, in my varied work history to date, I have always somehow found myself involved with things relating to music.
Back in the early 1990`s I was a tomboy and dressed in boys clothes, suits with ties,(probably why George Michael looked at me inquisitively one day in court and smiled…) and really eccentric for such young age. At 23 I was the youngest reporter to work and report daily on the contract battle. Restraint of Trade contract law and legal arguments for 8 months in total. I worked freelance for a Music Week journalist who approached me and asked me to help understand the “legal shit” . Very funny. He tapped me on the shoulder one day after court proceedings had ended and looked at me flustered. ” I wonder if you can help me….” I told him to go away as ” I have not a clue about journalism.”
The next day, like a GroundHog Day moment, the tap on my shoulder came again. ” Please can you help me I gotta report on this and I can`t make sense of the 4 hours legal arguments.”
So I took one look at his red faced confusion and asked him ” when is the deadline mate?”
There I was from that moment on, a reporter in the making.
I learned on the job and fell in love with writing.( Thanks to that day. That chance moment. Who Knew – that
I was to ditch my Law Degree to do Journalism. That`s what happened.i
And so here are the pics where I was a reporter and trying to get some quotes from George Michael, outside High Court, just after the barriers came crashing down and i was horrifed to see the press block us in, together. Very funny. I stood there like a frightened rabbit, and my face showed it. (see pics above). “What the F**k!” I was thinking. The next day in court George smiled and waved at me, on the press benches, next to him and his legal team with leading counsel, Mark Cran QC. George had an innocence – with his glasses on in the witness box – a child-like personality. I guess he recognised another kindred spirit in me. Amongst the dusty older grey ” Men in Suits” as he later referred to them.
Check out my like-thunder face, this is the moment I saw the press barriers collapse and the papparazzi surge forward like a piranha feeding frenzy. To get their exclusive George Fights Sony pics.
That year, I hoofed it down to the High Court, dilligently filed daily copy (stories)- reportage on George Michaels witness testimony,contract details (yes, I do have the copy and no you cant see it, lol), and all the legal stuff that went on in Court 39 of High Court,London. My loft has bin liners full of paperwork I know is valuable, but I`m keeping it all schtum. Put it this way, my book had truths in it, that the reporters would or could not print. Like things to do with Italian New Yorker (hint hint) Tommy Mottolla, (Mariah Carey`s past hubbie, who was one of head honcho`s, at Sony Music and in the Music Industry. And Rob Kahane, George`s then manager, (whom he ditched during the court battle. Wink wink ).
Its all in the script, which I wrote called “Crown of Thorns” abut Georges contract battle with Sony. I met with Dick Leahy, Georges then publisher, (a lovely guy) who told me he and George were interested in my book. But sadly it didn`t get published, as Dreamworks SKG bought George out of his Sony contract. And the rest is history. My publisher told me “go away Rachel and rewrite it, its too legal! Need to make it more sexy .” I thought, f**k this, and never did go back to their offices. Yes in my 20`s I was a right little misunderstood geek, with my short brown mousey bob, dressed like a boy, and gave the two fingers to the world. I dressed in suits like a boy, just cause I could. Looking back now and think ” what was that all about ?!”. All in all, George didn`t stand a chance to win the court case, as I reported in my headline “Judge Rocks Michael Case” exclusive in Music Week magazine, before anyone else got wind of which direction the case was going. I worked with Paul Gorman, for Music Week. Thanks Paul for trusting my sniffer-hound hunches and for pushing my life in the direction of writing. And Music. Until then, I had never heard of George Michael`s album LWP, as I was into classical music. Funny.
Then another musician called George entered my life….A few years back i was invited to be on the DRT Dyslexia Research Trust Committee, looking after the PR and entertainment side of things for that years annnual event. (The Chairman had seen my Myspace website and the bit where I said ” I failed all my exams at school…had to re-take them….and eventually caught up in my education, about 3 years behind others….”. He detected that I was dyslexic. We met, and I since learned that I have Dyscalculia, it is number dyslexia. As I am ok with English and writing.
Thanks to this twist of fate, I met with many awesome figures, especially in music industry.
My best and dearest male friend, Georgie Swan is pictured here below with me at the Help The Heroes gig he did in Essex,2010.
We met through Steve Norman (Spandau Ballet) who over lunch one day told me ” You gotta meet Georgie!”. So I did. Georgie is one of the best musical talents around. We clicked immediately and established a rapport. We worked together on a charitable basis. Assisting him with research and stuff. Soon after days of searcching high and low, I found Jeff Dawson, music Producer, and Mixer Mike Fraser. Both had worked with Kelley Rowland,(Destiny`s Child), Bon Jovi, Whitesnake, Poison to name a few. Both had great track records. Luckily, Georgie liked their work and two weeks later George was on a flight to Canada to work with the two greats. Three album tracks later, George has added several new tracks to his song vault with a new album. As a recording artiste George just gets better. For his awesome album see Click Here for Georgies website