Ghost’s frontman Tobias Forge is currently embroiled with former members of the band over issues with earnings. The four ex-members, Simon Söderberg, Henrik Palm, Mauro Rubino, and Martin Hjertstedt, assert that they all (including Forge) had a partnership under their previous band “Nameless Ghouls”, which would deem that profits be more equally distributed to them and more compensation be given to them for their work. While their case was initially dismissed for lack of evidence, the former members filed an appeal after it was discovered that the judge presiding over the case, Henrik Ibold, had belonged to the same fraternal organization as Forge, the Swedish Order of Freemasons.
However, it has since been reported that their conflict of interest appeal has been rejected by the Swedish court. Theprp.com reports that although Forge and Ibold belonged to the same fraternal organization, they never had any contact with each other before the case was filed. Forge, who consistently denied any arrangement of sort, maintained during the hearing that the four members at issue were considered more as touring members and thus were compensated as such.
This ruling should provide some relief to Forge, whose previous anonymous identity, which was part of the masked band’s mysterious guise and act, was forced to be made public due to the lawsuit. The four former members were ordered by the court to cover Forge’s legal fees, which amounted to 1.3 million kronor (approximately $145000 USD), as part of their dismissal. However, although the conflict of interest appeal has been denied, the Swedish courts of appeal still have to decide if the ex-members will be given a retrial moving forward.
Photo Credit: Ekaterina Gorbacheva