Alanis Morissette sues manager for stealing millions

Rocker Alanis Morissette has sued her former business manager for allegedly stealing US$4.7 million from her savings.
Rocker Alanis Morissette has sued her former business manager for allegedly stealing US$4.7 million from her savings.PHOTO: WILLIAMS & HIRAKAWA

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Rocker Alanis Morissette has sued her former business manager for allegedly stealing US$4.7 million from her savings.

The Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based singer said her former manager cost her US$15 million overall both through theft and other malfeasance.

She said Jonathan Schwartz made at least 116 cash transfers worth a total of US$4,767,900 without her knowledge from 2010 to 2014.

He convinced her her savings were in "fantastic" shape while in fact the transfers were "draining her assets and leading her on a road that could have led to financial ruin", she said in the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

She said she in fact wanted to live solely on her current income and interest and had instructed him not to touch her investments.

She said she turned down a "lucrative" offer to perform five shows in Las Vegas after he convinced her that she did not need the money.

She said she fired him in March this year after growing suspicious when he could not provide timely information on her finances.

When a new manager discovered the alleged theft, the lawsuit said Schwartz came up with fictitious explanations including that the singer was investing in the marijuana business.

Morissette also named in the suit GSO Business Management, where Schwartz was a partner, saying the prominent Los Angeles-area firm bore responsibility.

"It is inconceivable that a sophisticated certified public accounting and business management firm - which counts some of the world's wealthiest celebrities amongst its clientele - would permit a partner to withdraw millions of dollars in cash from a client's account without a 'red light' going off somewhere," the lawsuit said.

GSO Business Management filed a separate lawsuit against Schwartz, who could not be reached for comment.

It said it suspended him after the allegations came to light and was seeking an undetermined amount in damages as well as his formal dismissal.

It said its own investigation revealed that he sustained a "lavish lifestyle" that included a US$50,000 vacation to the Pacific island of Bora Bora, a US$75,000 debt to a casino in The Bahamas and "substantial" unpaid taxes.

Morissette was the voice behind a string of energetic rock anthems in the mid-1990s including You Oughta Know, Hand In My Pocket and You Learn. Her 1995 album Jagged Little Pill won the Grammy for Album Of The Year, making the then 21-year-old the youngest winner of the prestigious award until Taylor Swift.