LATEST: Actor/rocker Jared Leto has fired back at Virgin/EMI music executives for going public with a legal spat.
In the form of a new online letter to "fans and friends," the 30 Seconds To Mars frontman states he and his bandmates were hoping to settle a $30 million (GBP15 million) contract breach lawsuit behind closed doors, but he has been forced to speak out after label bosses filed proceedings against him and his bandmates on Friday (15Aug08).
The executives allege Leto and his group have violated the terms of their record contract by refusing to deliver three more albums, as per an outstanding agreement.
The lawsuit has stunned fans of the band, who fear 30 Second To Mars' reluctance to record albums for Virgin/EMI suggests the group has split.
But Leto writes, "Despite rumors to the contrary, 30 Seconds to Mars is NOT calling it quits. We are incredibly happy, healthy and very much together here, in Los Angeles, recording our new record."
He continues, "Besides this ridiculously overblown lawsuit, we are having one of the most inspiring, wonderful and exciting times that we've experienced to date.
"As you may have heard we are being sued by our former record company for the ridiculously oversized, totally unrealistic and pretty silly (but slightly clever) sum of $30,000,000. Insane? Yea, that's what we said too."
Leto claims he and his bandmates are simply attempting to exercise their rights under California law: "We had been signed to our record contract for nine years. Basically, under California law, where we live and signed our deal, one cannot be bound to a contract for more than seven years... It is a law that protects people from lengthy, unfair, career-spanning contracts. This law also gave us the legal right to explore other possible opportunities.
"We have been sued by the corporation quite simply because roughly 45 days ago we exercised our legal right to terminate our old, out of date contract, which, according to the law, is null and void."