Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain has lodged a countersuit against bandmate and guitarist Neal Schon for allegedly charging over $1 million in personal expenses to the band’s shared American Express card, including a one-month $400,000 shopping spree.
Schon and Cain have been embroiled in a bitter, highly publicized legal battle over the past several months, as the guitarist previously sued the keyboardist for “improperly restrict[ing]” his access to financial documents associated with the shared American Express card. The card account is linked to Nomota, the limited-liability corporation that Cain and Schon established in 1998 and in which they both have a 50% stake.
However, in a countersuit filed last Friday in California and viewed by UCR, Cain accused Schon of “misusing” the card to “pay for his personal expenses,” alleging that the guitarist “had serious financial problems as a result of an extravagant lifestyle.”
The suit claims that between May 2021 and fall 2022, Schon “caused over $1 million in personal expenses to be charged to the AMEX account.” Nearly half of this came from a one-month period in which Schon allegedly spent $400,000 on Chrome Hearts jewelry, items from Bergdorf Goodman department store and personal insurance premiums, among other expenses.
Additionally, the suit lists Cain as the personal guarantor of the shared American Express card, making him personally liable for the expenses. At one point, the keyboardist requested the credit card company impose a $30,000 spending limit on Schon. In spite of this limit, Schon allegedly “still managed to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional, excessive personal expenses through other tour personnel and travel agents,” including hotel rooms exceeding $5,000 a night.
Schon’s attorney Skip Miller called Cain’s recent allegations “ridiculous” and “as phony as a three-dollar bill” in a statement to Billboard, chalking the countersuit up to “sour grapes” after Schon filed a cease-and-desist order last month against Cain demanding that the keyboardist stop playing Journey songs at rallies supporting former President Donald Trump.
Despite these legal squabbles, Journey is set to kick off their 50th-anniversary tour next Friday in Durant, Okla. Original keyboardist Gregg Rolie was rumored to be taking part in the trek, but Schon appeared to backtrack on those claims earlier this week. A preliminary hearing for Schon’s initial lawsuit against Cain is scheduled for March 3.