Bono Says It Was His Idea to Wear Stetson Hat

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By Times Online and PA

Bono, the frontman of U2, today gave evidence at an appeal in Dublin launched by his former stylist to keep the Stetson hat she claims the band gave her.

U2 successfully sued Lola Cashman last year and claimed back the hat, a pair of metal hooped earrings, a green sweatshirt and a pair of black trousers, which they argued she had taken without permission.

The stylist was ordered to return the items, estimated to be worth €5,000 (£3,500), to the band within seven days. Instead though, she has launched an appeal, which will leave her with a substantial legal bill if she loses.

Ms Cashman, who left the band in 1988, says that she was given the hat and other memorabilia as gifts during U2's Joshua Tree tour in 1987. She was hired by Bono personally to replace their stylist, who was on maternity leave.

Dressed in a chocolate brown suit and wearing rose-coloured tinted glasses, Bono - real name Paul Hewson - said that Ms Cashman had been found by his management company through an agency.

"It was a very big moment in the bands career," he said. "Everything had come right for us. We had a lot of songs on radio around the world and particularly in the US we had a couple of number ones singles."

Bono said Ms Cashman joined the 150-strong entourage at a tense and exciting time, when the group was moving out from playing in arenas to outdoor stadiums. He admitted styling was not the band's strength, and they were grateful to Ms Cashman for her input.

"I am trying to think of her exact moment of entry but I can't," he continued. She had a very good eye. She had a lot more experience than us.

"But it was very clear on almost immediate arrival she wasn't a good in dealing with personal relationships, and initially put a lot of people's noses out of place."

Bono told the court his trademark Stetson hat had been his idea, which he had thought of since before Ms Cashman's arrival. He said the image was used to represent American iconography. "It was always part of my idea of how I wanted to present myself to the world in an ironic sense."

The court was told that Ms Cashman was responsible for the transport of all wardrobe items. Bono stressed it was important to the band, and their manager Paul McGuinness, to keep record of their memorabilia to either archive or donate.

"We thought it would have some importance of the history of the band," he said. "We hoped we would be around long enough to be part of that."

The case continues.

Copyright © 2006 Times Newspapers Ltd. All rights reserved.

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on October 18, 2006 3:36 AM.

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