Read Guy Sebastian’s emotional victim impact statement as his manager is jailed for two-and-half years after stealing $600,000 from him in ‘evil betrayal’: ‘I am not the same person I was’
- Titus Day found guilty of 34 charges of embezzling money from Guy Sebastian
- Sebastian described feeling ‘betrayed’ by his celebrity agent and close friend
- Day was convicted of taking $624,675 in royalties and fees due to Sebastian
- The singer said he felt like at times he was the one on trial during proceedings
- Day, who was Sebastian’s manager for a decade, was sentenced last Thursday
- Sebastian wrote an 1,800-word victim impact statement tendered in court
Guy Sebastian says he is ‘not the same person’ since his long-time manager embezzled more than $600,000 from his accounts in a betrayal the singer describes as ‘evil’.
Titus Day was jailed for a minimum two-and-a-half years in Sydney‘s Downing Centre District Court last Thursday for withholding parts of Sebastian’s huge earnings from his music.
Day was originally charged with 50 counts of embezzling at least $886,175 in royalties, performance fees and an ambassadorship from Sebastian between 2013 and 2020.
A jury found the father-of-three guilty in June of 34 offences in relation to money totalling $624,675 after deliberating for almost a week.
Guy Sebastian says he is ‘not the same person’ since his long-time manager embezzled more than $600,000 in a betrayal the singer describes as ‘evil’. Sebastian is pictured with wife Jules
Titus Day managed Guy Sebastian for about a decade and the men were once close friends. Day is pictured outside court before his sentencing on Thursday
Sebastian, who was once one of Day’s closest friends, wrote an 1,800-word victim impact statement that was tendered after the jury returned its guilty verdicts.
‘I am not the same person I was,’ the 41-year-old wrote.
‘I wish I could still view the world the same way but every day I fight through negative thoughts and I have to remind myself that not everyone is capable of doing this.
‘I have struggled through anger and resentment and I’m not even close to being healed yet.
Sebastian said Day’s ‘sustained deception’ led him to the ‘darkest points’ in his life and career.
‘Uncovering the depth of the lies from a man I considered a brother has forever changed my outlook in certain situations and my ability to trust in the innate goodness of people,’ he wrote.
The court heard Sebastian found ‘anomalies’ in financial records after he split from Day suggesting he was owed payments by his former manager. Sebastian is pictured with Day
‘Having someone so close to me and my family be so treacherous has literally pulled the rug out from under the belief systems I had held up until that point in my life.
‘For him to be a close family friend and socially interact with my family for years knowing what he was doing can only be described as evil.
‘I can’t imagine doing that to someone I call a friend, much less a brother.’
Judge Tim Gartelmann said Day’s offences ‘all were committed for financial gain’ but it could not be established beyond reasonable doubt the 49-year-old was motivated by greed.
‘There is no evidence of remorse as the offender maintains his innocence – nor is there any evidence regarding prospects of rehabilitation,’ Judge Gartelmann said.
He found Day re-offending was nonetheless unlikely.
Guy Sebastian’s former manager Titus Day was found guilty in June of embezzling $624,675 from the singer. Sebastian is pictured with wife Jules
The offending was a breach of trust but there had been no significant organisation or planning, Judge Gartelmann found. It was not known how Day spent the money.
Publicity surrounding the case and the destruction of Day’s reputation had left him ‘devastated’ and it was unlikely he could ever recover professionally.
The court case pitted two men who were once extremely close against each other and dragged in their wives, who had also been friends.
The brutal split between Sebastian and Day also rocked the entertainment industry.
Judge Gartelmann said character witnesses had universally described Day as generous, honest and trustworthy. All considered his offending out of character.
Singer Tina Arena was among those who provided a reference for Day, describing him as ‘someone she trusts’ and a man with ‘honesty and integrity’.
The trial was beset by woes, including the death of original judge Peter Zahra, the dismissal of five jurors from a panel of 15 and Sebastian and Crown Prosecutor David Morters SC contracting Covid-19.
While it was Day fighting for his liberty, Sebastian said he felt he was on trial during the hearing and most of the media attention focused on him.
The Voice judge was forced to reveal intimate details of his finances, including sometimes astronomical fees for performances and so-called ‘contra’ deals.
The court case pitted two men who were once extremely close against each other and dragged in their wives, who had also been friends. Day is pictured left with Sebastian
The ARIA Award-winner was in the witness box for more than a week giving evidence in chief before Mr Morters and under cross-examination by Day’s barrister Dominic Toomey SC.
Sebastian – who never signed a contract with Day – had so much money coming in from so many sources he did not notice hundreds of thousands of dollars missing from his bank account for years.
Jurors heard Sebastian was paid $494,360 to support Taylor Swift during the four-city Australian leg of her ‘The Red Tour’ in December 2013.
He 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.
Jurors heard the astronomical figures Sebastian was paid for performances, including $494,360 to support Taylor Swift (above) during the Australian leg of her 2013 world tour
The sums that were embezzled range from $593.53 in royalties from Sony Music to $187,524.42 for the Taylor Swift gigs. They also included $57,086.93 for a performance in Singapore and $77,042.96 from a Dreamworld ambassadorship.
Day contended some of the money was withheld to pay expenses and buy shares on Sebastian’s behalf but Judge Gartelmann did not find evidence to support those suggestions.
Sebastian gave evidence 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 from major companies.
Day, a qualified lawyer, had first managed Sebastian in 2007 while working for 22 Management. Sebastian had about nine months left on a three-year contract when Day approached him in July 2009 to join his own new company 6 Degrees.
Sebastian (above) had so much money coming in from so many sources he did not notice hundreds of thousands of dollars missing from his bank account for years
The performer had an agreement with Day under which the agent was to receive a 20 per cent commission on his earning and was paying his manager $500,000 a year.
Sebastian terminated the arrangement in November 2017 in what became an acrimonious split.
He subsequently found ‘anomalies’ in financial records suggesting he was still owed payments by Day and in July 2018 launched a civil claim against him.
Day made a counter claim against Sebastian alleging he was owed money, which led to an examination of the agent’s banking records revealing further anomalies. Sebastian then went to police.
Day will be eligible for parole on May 16, 2025. He has indicated he is likely to appeal against his convictions.
Guy Sebastian (left) was not present in court when his old friend and manager Titus Day (right) was found guilty of embezzlement but watched a live stream while pulled over on the side of a road