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Sorry Louis, but Union J is band I put together -- ex-manager

THEY may be one of the hot favourites on the X Factor but boy band Union J have come under fire from their former manager.

Pop manager Julian White claims he put the band together last year and he is threatening to sue the boys.

White says that Jamie 'JJ' Hamblett (24), Josh Cuthbert (20) and Jaymi Hensley (22) were part of his pop creation Rewind last year.

White introduced the three lads to big name music producers and set up media interviews with the press.

"I made these lads," White said. But when the boys began to receive interest, they dumped White and took up with new manager and former X Factor star Blair Dreelan.

"We signed an agreement for a contract," White said. "Next thing I know they've changed their name to Triple J and auditioned for X Factor with Blair as their manager."

Triple J became Union J when rejected soloist George Shelley (19) joined the group.

Ex-manager White says he was greeted with hostility when he confronted the boys.

"They got all aggressive when I asked them why they'd gone," he said. White went on to say that he intends to get a cut of Union J's imminent success.

"I've consulted my lawyer and as soon as they start earning I'm coming after them for five per cent of their earnings."

Current manager Blair, who made headlines last year when his long term girlfriend Sarah Robinson ran off with X Factor winner Matt Cardle, hit back saying White's claims were obsolete given the new line up of the band.

"He managed them before George joined the group," Blair said.

"They're not even the same name as when he managed them. Union J are confident that the ex-manager of Triple J has no contractual claims over the band."

It's the latest challenge the boys have faced since the X Factor started.

Earlier this month, mentor Louis complained that the lads weren't receiving the promotion they deserved on the show.

Louis believes that Simon Cowell feels the boys will pose a threat to his boy band One Direction with the two bands sharing many similarities.

"He knows Union J are a threat to One Direction so he's not going to say much about them," Louis said.

But despite all their setbacks, the Union J boys are winning over the hearts of X Factor fans.

Tulisa told the boys this month that it was just the beginning for them. "Your female fanbase is getting stronger and stronger. It's just the beginning for you."

While even fellow judge Gary Barlow admitted that the boy band were the next big thing.

"I think we are witnessing the birth of a boy band," he said during one of the live shows.

hnews@herald.ie


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