Swedish courts ruled in favor of Tobias Forge in a surprising (or in some cases, not surprising) turn of events. The verdict for the Ghost lawsuit has left fans either scratching their heads or shouting for joy.
What does this verdict mean? On top of paying their own legal fees, the former Ghouls will be forced to shell out $1.3 million Swedish Kronor (approx.. $145 thousand US dollars) to pay for Forge’s legal fees as well.
For those unfamiliar with the lawsuit, here is a simple summary:
Four Former Nameless Ghouls (Simon Soderberg, Mauro Rubino, Henrik Palm, and Martin Hjertstedt) sued Papa Emeritus 1-3 (Tobias Forge) for wages due. Forge has maintained that Ghost was his band from the start and the ghouls were simply hired guns. The Ghouls have argued that this was a band and partnership. They claimed that Forge had misplaced profits from the band and did not equally disperse compensation. Additionally, they asked the courts to force Forge to legally release all monetary compensation for the band.
Despite countless e-mails, there was no proof that the Ghouls ever had a stronghold in the arena. The high turnover rate within the band also did not help their arguments. In fact, Soderberg was the only suing ghoul to have been a part of Ghost since its inception in 2010. Rubino joined in 2011, Hjerstedt in 2014, and Palm in 2015.
Testimonies proved to be a fatal blow to the Ghouls claims when Soderberg admitted he did not know how the music industry worked AND that he “allowed” Forge to handle the business aspect of Ghost. Outside of themselves, the Ghouls only called one witness (Martin Persner).
Fans were disheartened by the fact that the long-time guitarist (Soderberg) also “outted” the entirety of the band. Until the lawsuit, only die-hard devout fans knew Forge’s identity.
In retrospect, Soderberg stood a better chance of winning the case had he filed by himself. The only other long-term band member that stood to gain from this was Martin Persner. (Persner decided not to partake in the lawsuit.) Though it was not an amicable split, Persner and Forge have managed to maintain a civilized relationship outside of Ghost.
Since leaving Ghost, many of the former Ghouls have found success in their own music. Henrik Palm released his solo album”Many Days”, Martin Hjerstedt continues to drum from pg.lost, and Simon Soderberg co-founded the electronic trio Priest. Rubino has trademarked a rendition of his former identity, Air Ghoul to Airghoul. He has done some guest work with Priest (which features his son, Linton). Martin Persner, although not a part of the lawsuit, resurrected his former band Magna Carta Cartel (MCC) with his brother Arvid.
To draw attention away from the lawsuit, Ghost strategically released their long awaited video for “Dance Macabre” at the same time as the verdict. Most fans in the Ghost-sphere are more focused on this video and the layers of meaning and not the outcome of the trial.