Another dramatic incident brought the trial of Australian music star Guy Sebastian’s former manager to a halt just hours after it resumed.
Another health emergency has postponed the embezzlement trial of former manager Guy Sebastian.
The Australian music and reality TV star briefly returned as a witness on Monday as the Titus Day embezzlement trial resumed following the death of the first judge appointed to preside over the trial.
Shortly before 2 p.m., just as Mr Sebastian was due to continue to testify, an ambulance was called to Downing Center Court in Sydney after the juror developed an adverse reaction to food.
Mr. Day, 49, pleaded not guilty to 50 counts of fraudulently embezzling about $900,000 worth of honorariums, speeches and ambassadorial payments allegedly destined for Mr. Sebastian.
Starting two weeks ago in the District Court of New South Wales, the trial was abruptly halted after the jury was told Judge Peter Zahra SC that he had suffered a stroke.
Mr Sebastian also tested positive for Covid-19 and was forced to self-isolate around the same time.
Judge Zahra died last week and it was announced on Monday that he would be replaced by new judge Tim Hartelmann.
Crown Attorney David Morters spent most of Monday showing Mr Sebastian emails and bank statements and questioning him about a number of transactions and working relationships.
The court was told that in 2016, Mr. Sebastian contacted a manager in Germany named Tessie Schultz, but they were unable to establish a one-on-one relationship with the client after Mr. Day stepped in.
“At that time, certain songs were played there. [Germany,” Mr Sebastian told court.
“I thought it would be prudent to have someone who understood the market over there. I wanted it to be a direct relationship between me and Tessy.”
Mr Sebastian said he arranged to meet Ms Schultz in Hamburg, but “Titus ended up coming along to that meeting”.
“I remember feeling awkward,” Mr Sebastian told the court.
“I really wanted to meet Tessy alone.”
Mr Day did “a deal” with Ms Schultz and “split up the commissions accordingly”, Mr Sebastian told the court.
“No they did not,” Mr Sebastian said when asked if anyone from Mr Day’s company, 6 Degrees, told him he was obligated to pay Ms Schultz.
“No I did not,” Mr Sebastian said when asked if he authorised payments to be made from 6 Degrees to Ms Schultz.
The court was told when conflict arose about Mr Sebastian’s finances, Mr Day expressed concern about Mr Sebastian’s accountant, Dorcas Kemp, and suggested there was “incompetence” on the part of the accounting company George Kemp and Associates.
“There were several times where Titus would bring up Dorcas … generally the line that he would say was, ‘I’m your manager, she’s your accountant, she shouldn’t cross a line,’” Mr Sebastian told the court.
“I did start to believe there was some conflict between my management and my bookkeepers and that made it quite difficult for me.
“I did change my accountants.”
After excerpts from multiple emails Mr Day sent Mr Sebastian – promising him a 10 per cent equity stake in 6 Degrees and another a stake in Solar D sunscreen company – were read to the court, Mr Sebastian said he was never given a stake in anything.
The trial is due to resume on Tuesday morning.
Judge Zahra’s funeral is due to be held on Friday.