U2 bassist Adam Clayton is suing his personal assistant, whom he says embezzled 2.8 million euro – roughly 3.5 million – from him over the course of four years.
For over 16 years, Carol Hawkins worked for Clayton. Initially hired as his housekeeper, she soon took on more responsibilities, including the power to sign off on payments made with two of the bassist’s bank accounts. According to BBC News, Hawkins is now being accused of cashing 181 checks with Clayton’s name on them into her own accounts, including one she shared with her ex-husband, who also worked for Clayton, between 2004 and 2008. Hawkins denies all charges.
In Dublin Criminal Court on June 21, Clayton told the court Hawkins carried out her duties, which included looking after his house, preparing meals and caring for his books, “efficient and well.”
“I felt she looked after my money and on many occasions accused others of being greedy so I was extremely surprised,” Clayton said. “I trusted people, and that’s why we’re here today.”
This is not the first time Hawkins has been accused of stealing, though. In 2008, Hawkins confessed to booking herself over 13,000 euro (more than $16,000) worth of flights on Clayton’s account to visit her children in the U.S. and London. After she confessed, Clayton removed Hawkins’ power to sign off on his accounts, but still kept her as an employee. He attributed her temporary lapse of judgement had to a recent divorce and distance from her children.
“She also mentioned that she had been suicidal and had taken an overdose,” Clayton testified. “I was concerned for her health and recommended she see a therapist. I got her a therapist locally.”
Working for Clayton, Hawkins made 48,000 euros a year, roughly $60,000.
“She had my absolute trust,” Clayton added. “We had been together a long time – working together. She had been very conscientious.”
- Shannon Carlin, CBS Local