Hall & Oates’ sale still on pause after ‘ultimate partnership betrayal,’ judge rules

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A judge’s ruling will keep a planned business sale on hold while bandmates Daryl Hall and John Oates work out an agreement.

A temporary injunction in a lawsuit filed by Hall blocks Oates from selling his share of Whole Oats Enterprises until an arbitrator weighs in, or Feb. 17. 

While Hall and Oates did not appear in court Thursday, lawyers argued on their behalf over Oates’ decision to sell half of his share in Whole Oats Enterprises to Primary Wave Music.

The sale has been paused while an arbitrator settles the dispute between the members of the rock duo Hall & Oates.

HALL & OATES SINGER DARYL HALL GRANTED RESTRAINING ORDER AGAINST BANDMATE JOHN OATES

“You cannot sell half of a partnership to a third party without the other party’s consent, and that’s just intuitively correct,” Christine Lepera, an attorney for Hall, said in court.

An attorney for Oates, Tim Warnock, said Hall’s claims that Oates went behind his back are untrue.

“Mr. Oates proceeded exactly as he was allowed to proceed,” Warnock said, pointing the judge to the duo’s joint business agreement, which remains under seal in the case. “Mr. Hall could have done the exact same thing himself.”

Hall has accused Oates of the “ultimate partnership betrayal” in court documents filed Wednesday, saying his bandmate attempted to sell his share of a joint business venture without permission from Hall. The joint venture includes Hall & Oates trademarks; personal name and likeness rights; record royalty income; and website and social media assets, according to a court declaration by Hall.

After attempting to begin arbitration on Nov. 9, Hall filed a separate lawsuit and requested a temporary restraining order to keep Oates from selling his share in Whole Oats Enterprises. The business venture is managed by both musicians.

The temporary restraining order, granted Nov. 17, prohibits Oates from selling his share to Primary Wave Music before an arbitrator weighs in or until the temporary restraining order expires, according to court documents obtained by FOX Business.

An arbitrator has since been chosen to settle the dispute, lawyers for both musicians said in court Thursday.

HALL & OATES SINGER DARYL HALL’S TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER BLOCKS BANDMATE JOHN OATES’ PLANNED BUSINESS SALE

Daryl Hall and John Oates pose for a portrait

The legal battle began on Nov. 16 when Hall sued Oates in Nashville, Tennessee. The lawsuit is sealed by court order but is listed under the category of contract/debt. The temporary restraining order was granted Nov. 24.

The two men formed the pop-rock outfit Hall & Oates in the 1970s, and while they’ve never officially broken up, both have carried on solo careers for years.

Hall & Oates released their debut album “Whole Oats” in 1972. Since their start, they have put out 18 studio albums and scored six No. 1 singles. Some of Hall & Oates’ biggest hits include “Rich Girl,” “Maneater” and “You Make My Dreams.”

The two toured together as recently as October 2022, according to Variety.

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Daryl Hall and John Oates

Hall made it clear there was a separation between him and Oates in a 2022 interview.

“You think John Oates is my partner? … He’s my business partner,” Hall said during an appearance on Bill Maher’s “Club Random” podcast. “He’s not my creative partner.”

“John and I are brothers, but we are not creative brothers. We are business partners. We made records called ‘Hall & Oates’ together, but we’ve always been very separate, and that’s a really important thing for me.”

Daryl Hall and John Oates play guitar

Hall used the example of the band’s song “Kiss on My List” to prove how separate the two were. While Oates is listed as a co-producer on the track, he is not listed as a songwriter.

“I did all those [harmonies],” Hall said. “That’s all me.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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