Ex-Manager Says Trent Reznor Stabbed Him In The Back ‘With A Nine Inch Nail’

He accuses NIN frontman of having 'wildly spendthrift ways.'

Nine Inch Nails’ former manager John Malm has shot back at Trent Reznor, who filed a suit against him earlier this week seeking millions of dollars.

Not only does Malm refute Reznor’s claim that he ripped off the rocker, he insists that Reznor actually owes him over $2 million in unpaid commissions. After numerous attempts to procure the payments, the manager sued Reznor in April, weeks before Reznor filed suit against him (see “Trent Reznor Sues Ex-Manager For Millions” ). (EDITOR’S NOTE: Reznor’s suit also originally made similar allegations against accountant Richard Szekelyi, but the court later determined there was no evidence of wrongdoing against Szekelyi and dismissed him from the suit.)

“Trent Reznor’s complete lack of loyalty and integrity is astounding,” Malm said in a statement. “After 20 years of my professional and personal friendship and support, through some of his darkest hours and at great expense to me, he has decided that everyone in the world is to blame for his problems except himself. It’s time for him to take some responsibility for his actions.”

Malm’s attorney Alan Hirth added that Reznor has “reneged on every single contract he and Malm ever entered into.” In the suit against Malm, Reznor accuses his ex-manager of convincing him to sign unlawful and immoral contracts that cheated him out of millions of dollars. Hirth insists that the alleged unfair management deal is a desperate attempt by Reznor to find someone to blame for his financial and career woes.

“For at least the past six years, Reznor’s lawyers were fully apprised of all business
dealings between Reznor and Malm,” Hirth said. “Only when Reznor ran out of money
after failing for five years to release a new album or go on tour did Reznor and his high-priced handlers decide to blame Malm for Reznor’s reckless spending and abandonment of Reznor’s career.”

In Malm’s suit against Reznor, which was filed April 21 in the United States District in Ohio, the manager claims that during his early years working with Reznor, he paid for food and rent. When Reznor started becoming successful, Malm often deferred commission fees in order to maximize the rocker’s revenue stream — and when Reznor’s career began to take a dip, Malm remained by his side.

“Nevertheless, Reznor continued his wildly spendthrift ways, which depleted his income at a time Reznor could ill-afford it,” Malm said in the suit.

Reznor’s final act of betrayal, Malm claims, was refusing to pay his former manager more than $2 million he owed him in deferred commissions. “Reznor stabbed Malm in the back with a nine inch nail,” the case claims, by refusing to pay Malm “more than $2 million in commissions that Malm had previously deferred; challenging Malm’s rights as a co-owner of their jointly owned enterprises; and mounting a campaign to malign Malm and impugn his integrity in the music industry with false claims that Malm had mishandled Reznor’s money and career.”

Reznor’s spokesperson at Interscope Records had no comment on the case.

Jim Guerinot at Rebel Waltz Management is currently serving as Reznor’s manager. The fourth Nine Inch Nails studio album, Bleed Through, is scheduled for release later this year (see “Trent Reznor Rewrites NIN Rulebook For ‘Brutal’ New Disc” ).