‘Hotel California’ Lyrics Case Abruptly Dropped

A Manhattan judge last week dismissed a criminal case against three men accused of stealing handwritten Eagles lyrics, including the lyrics for “Hotel California,” after the band’s Don Henley failed to disclose evidence on time.

Justice Curtis Farber concluded on Wednesday (March 6) that Henley “manipulated” prosecutors by withholding thousands of pages of evidence.

The ruling came after Assistant Manhattan District Attorney Aaron Ginandes informed the judge that prosecutors would no longer proceed with the case, citing newly available emails that defense lawyers said raised questions about the trial’s fairness.

“The people concede that dismissal is appropriate in this case,” Ginandes said.

According to the case filed by Henley in 2022, the three men – Glenn Horowitz, a rare book dealer; Craig Inciardi, a curator at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; and Edward Kosinski, a memorabilia auctioneer – conspired to illegally obtain over 100 pages of lyrics from him.

Denying the accusation, the defendants maintained that they had legally obtained the lyric sheets from author Ed Sanders, who was hired in the 1970s to write a book about the Eagles.

The more than 6,000 pages of emails and other notes recently handed over by Henley reportedly lent credence to the defense’s claims that Sanders had legitimately come into possession of Henley’s lyrics. The materials were previously withheld under attorney-client privilege.

“It is now clear that [Henley and longtime Eagles manger Irving Azoff] and their lawyers . used the privilege to obfuscate and hide information that they believed would be damaging to their position that the lyric sheets were stolen,” Justice Farber said during Wednesday’s hearing.

He also commended the prosecution for refusing to allow itself or the courts to be further manipulated for the benefit of anyone’s personal gain.

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