In a surprising turn of events, the legal battle between iconic musical duo Hall & Oates took a dramatic twist on November 29. Daryl Hall filed court papers accusing his partner, John Oates, of a betrayal he termed the “ultimate partnership betrayal.” The court declaration, obtained by Billboard, sheds light on a complex web of disputes, personal feelings, and a looming sale of their joint venture.
The dispute, initially shrouded in mystery, revolves around Oates’ alleged secret move to sell his half of their joint venture, Whole Oats Enterprises, to music company Primary Wave. Hall described this as an “ambush” that left him “blindsided,” filing a lawsuit in Tennessee seeking to block the sale.
Hall’s unsealed declaration not only revealed details about the alleged betrayal but also highlighted ongoing issues in their musical partnership. He accused Oates of engaging in the “ultimate partnership betrayal” by attempting to sell assets without obtaining his consent. The filing hinted at a broader “divorce” between the two partners, with Hall expressing disappointment over Oates’ recent adversarial behavior.
The declaration disclosed Hall’s strong objection to partnering with Primary Wave, citing concerns over the company’s focus on exploiting copyrights, trademarks, and name and likeness rights. Hall emphasized the highly personal nature of these assets, expressing deep upset at the potential forced partnership.
Furthermore, Hall disclosed that Oates never discussed selling his share in Whole Oats Enterprises during discussions about dissolving their touring company and other joint ventures. Oates, in response, refuted accusations of breaching their agreement and insisted that Hall’s claims were not true.
The legal dispute has gripped the public’s attention since news of the lawsuit first surfaced, leading to days of speculation. A court hearing is scheduled for Thursday morning in Nashville, promising further revelations and potentially bringing clarity to this unexpected rift between the legendary musical partners.