Four Former Members of Ghost Reveal Identities, Speak Out About Lawsuit Against Tobias Forge (“Papa Emeritus”)
Earlier this week, news broke that former members of Ghost — who it had been strongly rumored had been fired from the band after their fall 2016 U.S. tour — were bringing legal action against “Papa Emeritus” (né Tobias Forge) for “missing wages and allowances for several years.”
Now former member Simon Söderberg, aka lead guitarist “Alpha” and a member of the band since 2010 until his dismissal last year, has posted a lengthy statement on Facebook in which he explains in great detail the motivations to file the lawsuit (in the District Court in the band’s hometown of Linköping, Sweden) and the treatment which former band members allegedly received by Forge.
Not only is this the first time that Söderberg’s identity as a (former) Nameless Ghoul has been identified, but he also reveals the names of three other former Ghouls, some of whom had been in the band for as long as five years prior to their dismissal, and all of whom are part of the suit:
Simon Söderberg (guitars, “Alpha,” member since 2010)
Mauro Rubino (keyboards, “Air,” member since 2011)
Henrik Palm (guitar, “Ether,” member since 2015)
Martin Hjertstedt (drums, “Earth,” member since 2014)
According to Söderberg, Forge has claimed that the band as a business entity hasn’t been profitable and thus hasn’t been able to distribute any money beyond “minimal advance payments” to the other members; therefore the suit requests that Forge produce documents showing all income and expenses between 2011 and 2016. Furthermore, the suit alleges that despite a previous agreement in which all members including Forge would be treated equally, Forge has attempted to take control of the band by offering the other members contracts as consultants.
Needless to say, this statement makes Forge look very, very bad. It’s unlikely we’ll see a comment from him until the lawsuit has run its course, if ever, but we will certainly post an update if he releases a statement. Meanwhile it’s worth noting that from an outside perspective it has certainly always seemed as if Forge was the primary driving force behind the band, and it’s difficult to imagine him ever agreeing to an equal share partnership (especially with new members entering as recently as 2015).
Söderberg is now a member of the band Magna Carta Cartel with fellow former Nameless Ghoul Martin Persner (who is not a part of this lawsuit).
Here is Söderberg’s statement in full, made on behalf of all four former Nameless Ghouls participating in the suit: