Former Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing accused his ex-bandmates of breaking promises regarding their shared business interests, saying they’d stopped paying him his share of income five years ago.
The bad-tempered dispute began after he quit the band 11 years ago, and was replaced by Richie Faulkner. Since then, he’s reported that he’d tried to rejoin on a number of occasions, only to be rebuffed each time.
“Since about 2017… Previously they upheld their promise, even though they never gave my any accounts, they would make disbursements to me for what I was promised,” Downing told Blabbermouth in a statement. “[Y]ou know, part of what I was entitled to from everything that I was a part of; obviously merchandise, et cetera. And then that all stopped. I started to get legal letters. And I implored them, ‘Don’t go down this route. Let me come down. I’m happy to sit around a table and discuss any issues that need to be discussed.’ And they said no. And so the legal letters kept coming.”
He continued: “They’ve ousted me as a director [of Judas Priest Music Limited]. They’ve kicked me off the board, as it’s three of them and one of me. I’m still a 25 percent shareholder, but they said it’s worthless, it isn’t worth anything, and they don’t pay me anything of anything that I was involved with — period. So anyone that goes out and buys the 50th-anniversary box set, I do not get anything from it. I’ve asked them if I’m gonna get anything from it and they haven’t returned my e-mails. And it’s the same with any of the merchandise that you see on sale at the venues or in retail or anywhere else.”
The statement was a response to a recent interview with Glenn Tipton, who told Guitar World that Downing, despite his comments, had “never approached any of the band and asked to rejoin” and had actually been invited to return just before Faulkner arrived on the scene. ”But he didn’t do anything,” Tipton asserted. “He didn’t ask to come back.”
Downing countered that he’d written to Judas Priest “on two or three occasions now – recently, probably since about 2017 – asking to be reinstated. But even when they [briefly] chose to go as a four-piece, they never gave me any consideration, an opportunity to come back into the band. And I absolutely am totally convinced they never would previously, irrespective of what Glenn says.”
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