JOURNEY keyboardist Jonathan Cain has fired back at guitarist Neal Schon over allegations that Cain is blocking access to "critical" financial records.
Schon filed a lawsuit against Cain last month in California state court, alleging that Cain set up an American Express card without telling Schon and that "millions of JOURNEY funds have flowed through it."
Schon's attorneys claim in the suit, which was filed in Contra Costa in the Bay Area of California, that Cain hasn't turned over financial records that allow Schon to know how much the band owes him.
According to the lawsuit, Cain and Schon set up a company after a previous legal dispute with former bass player Ross Valory that operates the band, Nomota, of which they own 50 percent each.
"As a member and manager and founder and leader of JOURNEY," the documents say, "Schon has the right to access and control Nomota's books and records. Schon must have unfettered access to Nomota's records so he can oversee and manage Nomota/JOURNEY."
Earlier today, Cain released the following statement to BLABBERMOUTH.NET regarding Schon's lawsuit: "This is a matter that should have been resolved privately, but I am forced to publicly respond now to Neal's malicious lies and personal attacks on my family and I in an effort to garner public support for his ill-conceived lawsuit — a lawsuit that has absolutely no merit.
"Neal has always had access to the credit card statements; what he lacks — and what he is really seeking — is the ability to increase his spending limits.
"Since Neal decided to publicize what is going on, I can tell you we will present the evidence to the court that shows that Neal has been under tremendous financial pressure as a result of his excessive spending and extravagant lifestyle, which led to him running up enormous personal charges on the band's credit card account," Jonathan continued. "When efforts were made to limit his use of the card to legitimate band expenses, Neal unfortunately decided to attack me rather than trying to get his reckless spending under control.
"I am saddened by the situation — for Neal and for our fans — but since Neal filed a lawsuit, I suspect he will not be able to ignore the court like he has ignored the countless financial advisors and accountants he has fired over the past several years who have tried in vain to help him," Cain added.
In a separate statement, Cain's attorney Alan Gutman of Gutman Law said: "The evidence will establish that Schon's financial crisis has nothing to do with his professed 'unfettered access to Nomota's records.' Our investigation has established that Schon's personal financial problems resulted solely from his reckless spending, including what preliminarily appears to be charging more than $1 million of improper personal expenses on the band's corporate Nomota AMEX card.
"Schon's complaint is the classic example of desperate people doing desperate things. It's very unfortunate that Neal — and Neal alone — has created such difficulties for himself and his family through his profligate spending."
On Monday (November 21),several hours after Schon's legal action was covered by a number of media outlets, Neal took to his social media to write: "The only comment I'll make at this time is it's all very unfortunate and tried for over a year to attain all our corporate records for Nomota with many personal e-mails to Jon as well as many legal letter stating it's my legal right to see all but I was left with no choice but to take it legal."
An earlier message on a social media account Neal shares with his wife, Michaele Schon, read: "Thankful for American Express and the Bank for telling Neal Schön the truth about Jonathan Cain and Paula White going behind Neal's back . Adding Paula White to JOURNEY corporate Banking in 2020 is unethical and unlawful to Neal, he said never do it , they did it anyway . Good for the honest bank rep. Thankful #thankful #faith".
Back in 2017, Schon and Cain feuded publicly on social media after Cain, singer Arnel Pineda and Valory were photographed at the White House with then-U.S. president Donald Trump. Cain is a devout born-again Christian whose minister wife Paula White-Cain delivered the invocation at Trump's inauguration.
This is just the latest in a string of lawsuits between current and former JOURNEY members in recent years. This past September, former JOURNEY singer Steve Perry sued Schon and Cain over the trademarks to 20 of the group's biggest songs.
Three and a half years ago, Schon and Cain were embroiled in a legal dispute with former JOURNEY drummer Steve Smith and Valory. In April of 2021, Schon and Cain "reached an amicable settlement agreement" with Smith and Valory.
JOURNEY now consists of Schon and Cain, longtime singer Arnel Pineda, drummer Deen Castronovo, keyboardist/backing singer Jason Derlatka and bassist Todd Jensen.