American Idol season 14 finalist Daniel Seavey seemed to be riding high the past five years as a member of the popular boy band Why Don’t We. But the music business can be complicated. And recently, the band has become embroiled in a legal battle with their managers.
They are also accusing one of the managers of extreme abuse, including starvation, emotional abuse, and keeping the members locked down in their dwelling against their will.
These situations can be complicated, but basically, the band’s management team has split up and have filed opposing lawsuits to keep the other out of business. Randy Phillips and his former longtime partner David Loeffler are suing each other over the boy band’s management and control of their companies.
Why Don’t We won’t perform or honor recording contract until the manager they prefer is reinstated
According to a lawsuit Loeffler filed on Aug. 17, the five members of Why Don’t We — Jack Avery (Age 19), Corbyn Besson (20), Zach Herron (17), Jonah Marais (20) and Daniel Seavey (19) — are refusing to sign a recording agreement with Atlantic Records or perform as a group until Phillips is reinstated as the group’s sole manager after Loeffler fired him from the investment company that controls management company, Signature Entertainment.
Now the band is petitioning the California Labor Commission to throw out contract with Loeffler
Now, the band is petitioning the California Labor Commission to throw out its contract with Loeffler and management company Signature Entertainment for violating the state’s Talent Agencies Act. (Kelly Clarkson did more or less the same against her estranged husband and father-in-law’s company, petitioning to declare the agreement null and void.)
The band says that neither Loeffler nor his colleague Steven Miller obtained a signed talent agency agreement with the group’s five members. The band’s attorney Alan Gutman also wants Signature to pay the band any money Signature has received for its work with Why Don’t We in the last year,
In a statement Why Don’t We details how Loeffler allegedly kept them prisoner, starved and verbally abused them.
“We will no longer be silenced,” the group announced in a statement today on social media. They accuse Loeffler of “verbal abuse,” “malnourishment” and “extreme dominance” that have “not only inflicted physical and mental, but also extreme financial harm to us.”
“We look forward to finally closing the chapter on this traumatic stage in our lives by turning the page to our truth,” the statement continues.
The statement is incredible, accusing Loeffler of keeping them prisoner in a compound where the band all lived together.
“He would not only live with us during the day, but controlled us 24/7, setting an alarm that would go off if any door or window was opened,” the statement reads. “Needless to say, we were not given the security code to the alarm, essentially making us hostages in our own home.”
The statement continued, “Food was restricted to the point that some band members developed eating disorders. We had to sneak food in and hide it in our dresser. We were verbally berated almost every day and alienated from our friends and families.”
They end the statement saying, “Our commitment remains to our music, to our label, and most of all to our fans who we cherish and draw strength from as we find our way through this journey.”
— Why Don’t We (@whydontwemusic) September 9, 2021
Why Don’t We’s lawyer calls 2016 contracts “fraudulent”
Gutman is attempting to have the 2016 contracts negotiated between Signature Entertainment (of which Phillips is a signatory) and the band members thrown out, arguing the documents are a “fraudulent” way to get around licensing requirements and other Talent Agency Act regulations.
Gutman is also asking the California Labor Commission for an order waiving the band of any liability to Signature Entertainment as well as an order requiring the company pay Why Don’t We’s legal fees.