​David Mancuso’s estate accuses The Loft board members of theft and financial misconduct


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David Mancuso’s nephew and associates have accused The Loft board members of theft and financial misconduct in a new report by Resident Advisor.

Friends and family of the late DJ and nightlife veteran, who was known for his famed invite-only New York party The Loft, have spoken out against long-standing board members just days before the event became the centre of an exhibition by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

In a statement to Resident Advisor, Mancuso’s nephew and estate administrator, Richard Horstman II, explained “internal frictions” over recent years.

Horstman II alleges that, after Mancuso’s passing in 2016, board member Douglas Sherman became “assertive and tried to appoint himself musical director, tried to fire another board member and exhibited other warning signs”.

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He also alleges that Sherman “ignored the wishes of both the board and David”, and registered a “rival company” under his name, The Loft Party NYC LLC, in 2022.

In a request seen by RA, Mancuso had asked DJ and board member Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy to succeed him as chair of the board after his death. Despite the request, Sherman became chair of The Loft Party NYC LLC entity instead, Horstman II alleged.

According to Mancuso’s nephew, five board members contacted him in September 2022 to say that they would “no longer involve” him or Colleen in the organisation of “future Loft parties”. He then alleges that the “majority of funds” were withdrawn from The Loft’s bank account, as confirmed by RA.

The same board members are then accused of illegally taking the possessions of Mancuso, including audio equipment, records, and personal items, all of which is legally owned by Mancuso’s family, Horstman II explains.

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“In my opinion, this was deceptive, aggressive, created division within the community and isn’t in keeping with uncle David’s wishes,” he told RA.

The Loft was the centre of an exhibition at MoMA on June 2 celebrating 40 years since Mancuso’s famous Loft party on June 2, 1984, at 99 Prince Street in New York. The party was immortalised with a film by Martin Beck, Last Night (2016), which revisited some of the tracks played throughout that fateful night.

David Mancuso was renowned for his distinctive musical style and love of vinyl and high-fidelity audio. His party, The Loft, became a sensation in New York after its launch in 1970.

“At the moment, ‘LOVE SAVES THE DAY’ isn’t the same sentiment that was pervasive in the party that David created,” Hosrtman II told RA. “We hope to one day restore our Uncle David’s vision of The Loft as a safe space with integrity for all.”

[Via Resident Advisor]

Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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