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Ex-Busted member loses right to band's cash

Former Busted member Ki Fitzgerald
Former Busted member Ki Fitzgerald

A Herne Bay musician has suffered a disastrous defeat in his fight to win a bigger share of boy band Busted's multi-million-pound profits.

Twenty-four-year-old Ki McPhail - who sings under the name of Fitzgerald - of Fitzgerald Avenue, and Owen Doyle argued during a marathon High Court trial that their legal rights were flouted when they were kicked out of the band by fellow founders, James Bourne and Mat Willis, in October, 2001, shortly before Busted hit the big time.

But Mr Justice Morgan dashed the pair's hopes of a massive payout when he ruled there had never been any contractual or partnership arrangement between "the four boys" and the deal which severed Ki and Owen from the band was "generous" to them.

After a court hearing costing hundreds of thousands of pounds, the judge also roundly rejected the pair's claims that they had been treated unfairly or subjected to "undue influence" either by James, Mat, the band's former manager, Richard Rashman, or song writer John MacLaughlin.

Busted went on to achieve massive chart success.

Ki has formed a new band, Eyes Wide Open, but, along with Owen, 26, had sought a share of some of the huge profits that Busted made.

In his ruling, the judge left open the extent to which the original four band members contributed to four hits - What I Go To School For, Pyscho Girl, Year 3000 and Sleeping With The Light On - which made Busted a household name.

He said the authorship of the songs was irrelevant to his decision as there had never been any contract or partnership between the four.

James and Mat said after the judge's ruling in a press release: "This was an opportunistic attempt to cash in on our success.

"Their claims were a complete fabrication and we are delighted that the judge has seen through this and totally dismissed them.

"Our position has been completely vindicated and our achievements with Busted remain untarnished."

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