Don Henley
Source: Don Henley YouTube

Don Henley, a co-founder of the legendary band The Eagles, filed a lawsuit on Friday. In this lawsuit, he demanded the return of his handwritten lyrics to his classic hit song “Hotel California.”

Henley’s Lawsuit

Fox News reported that Henley, 76, claims in his lawsuit that 100 pages were stolen from him. Henley did this after his criminal case against three men who were trying to sell the developmental lyrics was dropped by a New York court.

“Don Henley has filed suit today in a New York federal court for return of property that was stolen from him — his private handwritten notes and lyrics to the iconic songs from the Hotel California album,” Henley’s attorney Daniel Petrocelli told Variety.

“These 100 pages of personal lyric sheets belong to Mr. Henley and his family, and he has never authorized defendants or anyone else to peddle them for profit,” he added.

The three men in question have been identified as Glenn Horowitz, Craig Inciardi and Edward Kosinski. They each were charged with conspiracy in the fourth degree for allegedly attempting to sell manuscripts. These documents included “developmental lyrics to the Eagles song ‘Hotel California.” This was stated in the original indictment filed by the New York District Attorney’s office in 2022.

Relive some of the magic of “Hotel California” in the video below.

Henley’s New Lawsuit

Henley’s new lawsuit alleges that the handwritten pages are currently in the office of the Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. His office has stated that the manuscripts are collectively valued at over $1 million.

The criminal charges were dropped back in March. This was due to newly available emails that defense lawyers argued raised questions about the fairness of the trial. The emails reportedly came out when Henley waived attorney-client privilege after he and other prosecution witnesses had already testified. 

“The attorney-client privilege is a foundational guardrail in our justice system, and rarely, if ever, should you have to forsake it to prosecute or defend a case,” Petrocelli said afterwards. “As the victim in this case, Mr. Henley has once again been victimized by this unjust outcome. He will pursue all his rights in the civil courts.”

Related: Don Henley Wraps Testimony In Strange ‘Hotel California’ Lawsuit

Handwritten Pages Allegedly Stolen From The Eagles

This all started way back in the 1970s, when Ed Sanders allegedly stole notepads from The Eagles. He reportedly did this while writing an authorized book about the band. Though he never published the book, Sanders kept the handwritten pages. He later sold them to Horowitz, a rare-book dealer, for $50,000.

Horowitz would later go on to sell the pages to Inciardi and Kosinski. The former is a former Rock & Roll Hall of Fame curator, and the latter is a memorabilia collector. In 2012, Henley bought the “original handwritten lyrics for the Eagles song ‘Hotel California’ written in Don Henley’s hand.” He had to pay $8,500 for this.

In 2014, Kosinski tried to sell “Eagles handwritten lyrics in Don Henley [sic] hand for ‘New Kid In Town'” to Sotheby’s. Inciardi then contacted the auction house alleging that developmental lyrics for “Life in the Fast Lane” were also available for sale.

“When Don Henley learned that Inciardi and Kosinski were trying to sell portions of the manuscripts, he filed police reports, told the defendants that the materials were stolen, and demanded the return of his property,” Bragg said in a statement after the charges were filed in 2022.

“Rather than making any effort to ensure they actually had rightful ownership, the defendants responded by engaging in a years-long campaign to prevent Henley from recovering the manuscripts,” he continued.

Related: Here Are The Top 5 Oldest Rock Bands Still Touring Today

Kosinski And Inciardi’s Lawyers Fire Back

Attorneys for both Kosinski and Inciardi, however, are slamming the latest legal action as baseless.

“Don Henley is desperate to rewrite history,” Shawn Crowley, Kosinski’s lawyer, told Deadline. “We look forward to litigating this case and bringing a lawsuit against Henley to hold him accountable for his repeated lies and misuse of the justice system.”

Inciardi’s lawyer Stacey Richman agreed, saying that the lawsuit attempts to “bully” and “perpetuate a false narrative.”

Indeed, only time will tell if all of this works out in Henley’s favor!

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