Guy Sebastian breaks his silence as his manager is found guilty of embezzling his money: ‘I’ve been going through something very painful’
- Titus Day was found guilty of more than 30 of 47 charges by a jury on Thursday
- His celebrity client Guy Sebastian broke his silence on Radio 2GB on Friday
- ‘I was just really relieved at the end because it’s been four-and-a-half years’
Guy Sebastian says he feels relieved and vindicated after a jury found his long-time manager Titus Day guilty of embezzling his money.
The NSW District Court jury delivered its verdict on Day, who was accused of stealing almost $900,000 from the pop star, on Thursday afternoon. He was found not guilty of some offences.
Sebastian on Friday told 2GB’s Ben Fordham: ‘I was just really relieved at the end because of it’s been four and a half years of going through something very painful.’
The one-time Australian Idol winner said he watched the verdict as it was streamed live, while pulled over on the side of a road, and did not know what to expect.
‘I feel a lot of things – vindicated is absolutely one of them (also) very confused because I did try everything I possibly could to not get to this point and every step of the way I was met with pretty extreme resistance.
‘I just couldn’t have seen it not going this way.’
Guy Sebastian (pictured with his wife Jules) accused his former manager of stealing almost $900,000 between 2013 and 2020. Titus Day was found guilty of more than 30 of 47 embezzlement charges on Thursday afternoon
Titus Day (pictured) has been found guilty of embezzling money from his former star client Guy Sebastian. He was previously acquitted by a NSW District Court jury of three counts of embezzlement at the direction of the presiding judge
The trial had been beset by woes, including the death of original judge Peter Zahra, the dismissal of five jurors from a panel of 15 and Sebastian contracting Covid-19.
Jurors heard the astronomical figures Sebastian was paid for performances, including $494,360 to support Taylor Swift during the four-city Australian leg of her ‘The Red Tour’ in December 2013.
Sebastian charged $54,341 to sing at a wedding in Jakarta in July 2017 and McDonald’s paid the entertainer $66,000 to appear at a conference in September that year.
The hit-maker also received $49,114.62 for singing at Allianz Stadium in Sydney during the British and Irish Lions rugby tour in 2013.
Sebastian gave evidence that he had been given a boat, international air fares and the use of two Toyota LandCruisers for himself and his wife instead of cash payment as part of ‘contra’ deals with major companies.
Day managed Sebastian for about a decade until November 2017 when the singer terminated their arrangement in an acrimonious break-up.
The court heard Sebastian subsequently found ‘anomalies’ in financial records suggesting he was still owed payments by Day and in July 2018 the performer launched a civil claim against him.
Sebastian later went to police which resulted in the trial at which each man accused the other of owing him money.
The court heard Sebastian subsequently found ‘anomalies’ in financial records suggesting he was still owed payments by Day and in July 2018 the performer launched a civil claim against him. Sebastian and Day are pictured
The amounts of money Day was alleged to have embezzled ranged from $361.34 in royalties to $187,524 in performance fees. One charge concerned a $21,000 ambassadorship.
Judge Tim Gartelmann ordered the jury to return not guilty verdicts for three charges of embezzlement on June 9 after prosecutors admitted Day had no case to answer.
Those charges related to Day allegedly embezzling royalty payments of $13,380.60, $936 and $361.34 between 2014 and 2020.
Defence barrister Dominic Toomey SC made the application for acquittal after the prosecution case ended, which Crown prosecutor David Morters SC agreed to after admitting there was no evidence.
‘There was simply no evidence at all that the accused did the act alleged to constitute any of these offences,’ Judge Gartelmann said.
Jurors heard the astronomical figures Sebastian was paid for performances, including $494,360 to support Taylor Swift during the four-city Australian leg of her ‘The Red Tour’ in December 2013
Judge Gartelmann also told the jury that if they found Day not guilty on any of the 47 remaining charges, he must also be acquitted of the corresponding back-up charge of the lesser crime of larceny.
Day did not give evidence at the trial.
‘The accused exercised a right to silence in declining to do so,’ Judge Gartelmann told the jury. ‘He had no obligation to give evidence or to call any at all.
‘The accused need not prove anything at all… the fact he did not call or give any evidence cannot be used against him in any way at all. No inference can be drawn from it.’
Mr Morters told the jury that Day, who was due a 20 per cent commission on Sebastian’s earnings, kept money paid into his account which should have been forwarded to the singer.
Day managed Sebastian for about a decade until November 2017 when the singer terminated their arrangement in an acrimonious break-up. Sebastian is pictured outside court
‘It’s clear from the financial records that you have that he dispersed these funds in a way which was inconsistent with the interests of Mr Sebastian,’ Mr Morters said in his closing address.
‘He, in effect, embezzled that money from Mr Sebastian. He never paid it through as he was obliged to, he used it for other purposes.’
But Mr Toomey submitted his client had an answer to every single charge and suggested the authorities were perhaps seduced by Sebastian’s high profile.
Day told police the chart-topper owed him $1.2million in outstanding commissions.
‘Why isn’t he being picked up for fraud, for not paying me commissions?’ Day said in the July 2020 interview played to the jury. ‘I don’t understand it.’
Mr Morters unsuccessfully tried to have Day’s bail revoked after the jury’s verdicts, telling Judge Gartelmann that convictions were likely to result in a jail term.
Day’s case was expected to return to court on Friday morning.