The Reason Scott Stapp Got Sued By Creed Fans

Fans may sue bands for reasons like concert cancellations without refunds, injuries due to negligence, false advertising, and copyright infringement claims, though such cases are uncommon. A specific incident also led Creed fans to take legal action against the lead singer, Scott Stapp.

During a Creed show on December 29, 2002, at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois, Stapp’s poor performance led to a $2 million lawsuit filed by four local fans, alleging he was so ‘intoxicated and/or medicated’ that he couldn’t sing a single Creed song. The fans also sought a refund for their four tickets, which cost $227, as well as reimbursement for parking fees.

Band’s Apology From The Fans

At the concert, the vocalist reportedly forgot song lyrics, fell down multiple times, and left the stage for 10 minutes. The band did not provide a ticket refund but did apologize to fans in January, saying:

“The band has heard that you are unhappy with the quality of the recent Creed show in Chicago. We apologize if you don’t feel that the show was up to the very high standards set by our previous shows in Chicago… There has been much concern about Scott’s health, and we want to assure everyone that he is doing very well and is taking a much-needed break at home in Orlando.” 

Stapp’s Response To The Accusations

Three months after four fans sued Creed, the singer denied these allegations. Stapp clarified that what fans thought was him passing out during the song ‘Who’s Got My Back’ was actually part of a rock and roll act where he intentionally lay down to make a statement. He told the Orlando Sentinel in 2003:

“It was a symbolic, personal gesture. I had some things going on in my life. I kind of felt alone. And it was a symbol that I didn’t think anybody had my back at the time. Some people get it. Some people don’t.”

The Attorney’s Take On Fan Expectations

Later, in September 2003, the judge dismissed the lawsuit but allowed the fans to make changes to their complaint. One of the fans, Philip Berenz, mentioned that the fight was far from finished. The attorney who filed the lawsuit, Daniel Voelker, stated that people might not have expected a flawless performance from artists like Janis Joplin or Jimi Hendrix, but they had different expectations for Scott. Voelker noted:

“Creed have this reputation in the industry as being a band you can count on. They don’t act in a manner you’d expect from Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, or Jimi Hendrix. So by being intoxicated during a performance, concertgoers are entitled to a claim for relief.”

Before this incident, it had also been a turbulent period for the group. At the peak of their career, around the year 2000, Creed faced internal problems. Bassist Brian Marshall battled alcoholism, and the band discussed his rehab with their management. However, Marshall refused and departed from the act. The success of their third album, ‘Weathered,’ was also marred by issues, including Stapp’s car crash and addiction to painkillers, ultimately leading to their initial breakup.