Eagles co-founder Don Henley ‘victimized’ by ‘Hotel California’ trial dismissal: lawyer

Eagles co-founder Don Henley 'victimized' by 'Hotel California' trial dismissal: lawyer

The trial concerning the alleged theft of handwritten drafts of Eagles’ classics, notably “Hotel California,” has been abruptly terminated as prosecutors dropped their case mid-trial, as reported by The Associated Press.

Assistant Manhattan District Attorney Aaron Ginandes informed the judge at 10 a.m. Wednesday that prosecutors would no longer pursue the case, citing newly surfaced emails that raised concerns about the trial’s fairness. These emails emerged after Eagles co-founder Don Henley decided to waive attorney-client privilege, revealing significant communication volumes between Henley and his legal team and associates, which were only disclosed to both parties in the last few days.

In light of these revelations, prosecutors acknowledged that defense attorneys were blindsided by the recent disclosures, prompting doubts about the trial’s integrity. Judge Curtis Farber criticized the use of attorney-client privilege to conceal information, describing it as an attempt to obscure relevant details.

Dan Petrocelli, representing Henley, expressed dismay at the outcome, emphasizing the importance of attorney-client privilege in the justice system. He vowed to pursue legal action in civil courts, affirming Henley’s determination to safeguard his rights.

The case involved rare book experts Glenn Horowitz, Craig Inciardi, and Edward Kosinski, accused of scheming to sell approximately 100 pages of “developmental lyrics to the Eagles song ‘Hotel California,'” according to the original indictment filed in 2022.

Prosecutors alleged that the defendants circulated false narratives about the manuscripts’ ownership to facilitate their sale. However, defense attorneys contended that the drafts were legally obtained from a writer who collaborated on an Eagles biography with Henley decades ago, with Henley eventually gifting them to the writer.

Scott Edelman, representing Kosinski, criticized the district attorney’s handling of the case, accusing them of being swayed by celebrity status and overlooking critical information.

Following the trial’s dismissal, Incardi expressed a desire to restore his and his colleagues’ reputations, signaling a potential legal recourse.

Henley had testified last week, asserting his ownership of the handwritten pages and condemning their alleged theft by the writer.

Irving Azoff, the Eagles’ longtime manager, corroborated Henley’s stance, asserting that the lyrics were unlawfully taken by the writer and held significant personal value to Henley.

The abrupt conclusion of the trial marks a twist in the ongoing legal saga surrounding the contested ownership of the iconic song’s developmental drafts.