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Daryl Hall Alleges John Oates Committed ‘Ultimate Betrayal’ in Business Partnership

In Nashville, Tenn., Daryl Hall filed a court declaration alleging that his music partner, John Oates, is planning to sell his share of the Hall & Oates joint venture without permission, calling it the “ultimate partnership betrayal.” The joint venture includes Hall & Oates trademarks, personal name and likeness rights, record royalty income, and website and social media assets.

A temporary restraining order has been issued to halt the sale of Whole Oats Enterprises LLP to Primary Wave IP Investment Management LLC while legal proceedings and arbitration continue. A court hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

In the court declaration, Hall expressed his disappointment and loss of trust in Oates, stating that Oates and the Co-Trustees sought to sell half of the WOE assets without his approval.

Attorney Derek Crownover, representing Oates, stated that they will work toward a resolution and file a declaration by Oates soon.

The lawsuit contends that Hall opened an arbitration process against Oates and the other parties involved, seeking to prevent them from selling their part in Whole Oats Enterprises to Primary Wave Music. Primary Wave has already owned “significant interest” in Hall and Oates’ song catalog for more than 15 years.

Hall said he was blindsided by Oates’ plan to sell his part of Whole Oates Enterprises, expressing deep concern about the deterioration of their relationship and trust.

According to Hall, the ordeal has unfolded while he’s been on tour, and he believes Oates timed the sale “to create the most harm to me.”

He also accused Oates of becoming “adversarial and aggressive instead of professional and courteous” in recent years, with discussions of a potential dissolution of their business partnership.

Daryl Hall and John Oates started their musical journey as Temple University students, achieving six platinum albums and multiple Top 10 singles. The duo was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.

“We have this incredibly good problem of having so many hits,” John Oates told The Associated Press in 2021.

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