Elton John and his management company, W.A. Bong, Ltd., have started an all-out war with Britain's Daily Mail over articles about their finances in taking care of his new son, Zachary.
On Tuesday, the Daily Mail printed an article stating that Elton and his partner David Furnish had increased their staff by more than 50% to take care of the baby and that didn't count nannies. The management company issued the following statement the same day to counteract "reports [that] are based upon both stupidity and prejudice."
"Some reports about Elton are based upon stupidity of the reporter. Other reports are based upon prejudice. Sometimes, as with the latest article in the Daily Mail today, reports are based upon both stupidity and prejudice.
"The Daily Mail claims that Elton's staff went from 14 to 22 between 2008 and 2010 and implies that the increase is due to arrangements being made for the birth of Zachary. This claim has now been picked up and distorted by others on the internet.
"The inconvenient facts are:
A. The accounts of William A Bong for the period April 2008 to March 31, 2009, showed administrative staff of 13, and for the next year (April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2010) the figure was 21. By the way, on any count this does not mean, except to a moron, that the staff has "doubled."
B. Zachary would hardly have been conceived during the financial year ended March 31, 2010, and it is again a suggestion of true absurdity that any increase in staff shown in those accounts was related in any way to the addition to Elton and David's family. Furthermore, the employment of purely personal staff such as housekeepers and nannies would constitute a fraud on the Revenue, as would be obvious to anybody but a financial illiterate such as the Daily Mail's reporter, Simon Cable.
C. Nobody talked to us about the figures, and if they had done so we would have pointed out that the wages and salaries had risen for administrative staff from £1,260,854 in 2008/9 to £1,276,023 in 2009/10, a rise of just over £15,000. Even if wages had been entirely frozen for the entire 13 original staff, it would surely defy logic to suggest that an additional 8 staff could be employed at a total cost of £15,000 for the year. This simple fact would have put any fair-minded reporter on enquiry. The truth is that the increase in numbers is a purely procedural step taken because some staff who previously were employed by other companies associated with Elton John (e.g.TwentyFirst Artists Ltd.) have been counted in the later accounts as William A Bong employees if they performed any duties at all for that company. In short there has been no actual increase in the staff of William A Bong Ltd.
D. If further evidence of the financial illiteracy of the reporter was required one need only look at the final paragraph of the article - the claim that Elton took "a £283,825 hit simply by turning his foreign income back into pounds." Under the administrative expenses section of the accounts the figure of £283,825 is shown in brackets - a commonplace accounting device to show not a cost but a profit! How incompetent can you get?
"The article is yet another piece of pathetic journalism by a newspaper with a continuing agenda against Elton."
Today, the Mail continued with their allegations of a big jump in the couple's staff, restating much of what had been in the previous day's article while also saying that Elton was already back recording "hopefully featuring enough smash hits to keep little Zac in rusks."
Once again, within hours, the management team responded:
"Elton's management has drawn attention to yet another stupid article in the Daily Mail's online edition today - reporting that Elton went to an LA studio yesterday, and suggesting that the financial pressure of employing all the extra staff for Zachary is causing Elton to have to produce a new album. It is also almost beyond belief that the paper continues to make a ludicrous link between the accounts for the period ending 31 March 2010 and Zachary's birth on Christmas Day.
"Leaving aside the fact that two weeks paternity leave is entirely the norm in the UK, we can dispel the idea that Elton is working on a new album. Elton takes a close interest in all the artists signed to Rocket or its associated companies, and is currently helping the greatly talented Nick Littlemore (half of the very successful Australian Pnau group and also part of The Empire of the Sun project) with a new work for Cirque du Soleil.
"Anyway, to say it once more, William A Bong Ltd hired nobody in the year ended 31 March 2010, or since then, to assist in the care of baby Zachary. Neither did the company increase its staffing numbers at all, despite what the accounts say because of a procedural change.
"It is truly extraordinary how sour some people can be about what is plainly a very happy event. The Editor must be a very unhappy person."