Guy Sebastian has told a Sydney court about the highly emotional split with his former manager about the same time he pulled out of an overseas trip due to mental health issues.
The pop star resumed giving evidence in the NSW District Court after a jury member was formally discharged, leaving 13 on the panel.
The Crown alleges that Titus Emanuel Day — who managed Sebastian via 6 Degrees between 2009 and 2017 — embezzled Sebastian out of almost $900,000 between 2013 and 2020.
Day, 49, has pleaded not guilty to 50 charges including fraudulently embezzling money allegedly owed to Sebastian through royalties and performance fees.
He also denies 50 alternative counts of larceny, or stealing.
On Tuesday Sebastian was taken to his final meeting with Day alongside both their wives in November 2017.
“(There were) a lot of emotions,” Sebastian said.
The Australian Idol singer said that year had been contentious for both as each acknowledged their relationship “was on tenterhooks”.
Months earlier Sebastian had embarked on a European tour in support of former boyband member Shane Filan, but pulled out before completion.
“I had reached a not-so-great place.”
“The tour itself was an element of it … wasn’t really the right tour but I was also struggling with mental health issues at the time.”
Sebastian had been advised by Day that he would be paying costs for the tour, but it was a good opportunity on the back of releasing an album.
In an email Sebastian acknowledges it is a “big investment” for him, but it won’t hurt to get in front of “that many people”.
He was later shocked when shown a document that showed a purported additional fee was paid on his behalf for the tour.
“Would you have agreed to pay Mr Filan or his promoter for the opportunity to play with him … Have you ever paid in the past as a support act?” prosecutor David Morters SC asked.
“No, I had never heard of that.”
The court was previously told that the musician was owed $494,360 for accompanying Taylor Swift four times on her Red Tour in Australia in 2013.
Upon examination of his financial records, Sebastian said half that fee owed was missing.
“There was no payment (of that amount). None.”
And back in 2014 when his accountant tried to reconcile the full payment with help from this then-manager, the situation was equally fraught, he said.
“It was like getting blood out of a stone,” Sebastian said.
The money was allegedly used by Day to purchase shares in My Medical Records, something Sebastian recalled him heavily promoting at the time.
“Mr Day had sent me numerous emails about this stock saying this is a really great investment, I’m going to make a lot of share purchases as well … think you should.”
“Did you authorise the accused to purchase any MMR shares on your behalf?” Mr Morters asked.
The case resumed on Tuesday after it was abruptly halted on Monday when a juror suffered a severe allergic reaction and was rushed to hospital during the lunch break.
Less than a week after the case commenced, Judge Peter Zahra was pronounced dead following a suspected stroke.
The trial before Judge Timothy Gartelmann continues.