Ghost suffered a massive lineup change in 2016, losing Simon Söderberg, Mauro Rubino, Henrik Palm, Martin Hjertstedt, and Martin Persner. The first four in that list then turned around and sued Tobias Forge, better known as Papa Emeritus' characters, in 2017 for underpayments for their participation in the band between 2011 and 2016. The quartet also claimed there was a deal in place for payments which Forge which did not honor.
Forge broke character for the first time ever to explain what was going on with the band and officially responded to the lawsuit, saying that nobody outside himself in the group was crucial to Ghost's wellbeing. Now according to the Swedish newspaper Norrköpings Tidningar, Forge the quartet suing him were slated to meet in court today to begin negotiations.
Following a major exchange of letters, the parties will now meet for the first time in the court in Linköping. It is still unclear whether the former band members and the band leader themselves will participate in the hearing or if they can only be represented by their legal representatives. Monday's negotiation is a so-called oral preparation. Such a negotiation has two purposes: first, it is about preparing any uncertainties for a main negotiation, and it is about investigating the conditions for a settlement.
Forge was not present at the meeting and was represented by his legal counsel Ann-Charlotte Söderlund Björk, while Söderberg and Rubino were present and represented by lawyer Michael Berg. According to the Swedish newspaper Corren, the meeting adjourned at 3PM and no settlement was reached. Out of court settlements may still be reached, according to Corren, and the lawsuit may very well go into 2018.
In music-related news, keep an eye out for Ghost to announce a double album called Ceremony & Devotion for release in December.