Another dramatic incident has halted the trial of Australian music star Guy Sebastian’s former manager just hours after it resumed.
Another shock health emergency has delayed the embezzlement trial of Guy Sebastian’s former manager.
The Australian music and reality TV star returned to the witness box briefly on Monday when Titus Day’s embezzlement trial resumed following the death of the first judge appointed to run proceedings.
Shortly before 2pm, just as Mr Sebastian was due to continue giving evidence, an ambulance was called to Sydney’s Downing Centre court precinct after a juror began to suffer an adverse reaction to food.
Mr Day, 49, has pleaded not guilty to 50 counts of fraudulently embezzling about $900,000 worth of royalty, performance and ambassador payments which were allegedly meant to go to Mr Sebastian.
After starting in the NSW District Court two weeks ago, the trial came to an abrupt halt after the jury was told judge Peter Zahra SC had suffered a stroke.
Mr Sebastian also tested positive to Covid-19 and was forced to isolate around the same time.
Judge Zahra died last week and new judge, Tim Gartelmann SC, was announced as his replacement on Monday.
Crown prosecutor David Morthers SC spent most of Monday showing Mr Sebastian emails and bank statements and questioning him about a range of transactions and working relationships.
The court was told in 2016 Mr Sebastian made contact with a manager in Germany named Tessy Schultz, but they were unable to develop a one-on-one client relationship after Mr Day got involved.
“At the time there were certain songs resonating over 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.