Adam Clayton, bassist for the rock band U2, was astonished to learn that his personal assistant, Carol Hawkins, had stolen nearly $4 million from his bank account over a four year period, $600,000 of which went to the purchase of several thoroughbred horses. The musician expressed his amazement at the news while taking the stand on Thursday at Dublin’s Circuit Criminal Court.
Hawkins faces 181 charges of theft for her role in lifting an incredible sum of money from Clayton’s two personal bank accounts. In addition to the 22 horses she purchased with the nicked funds, Hawkins and her husband also purchased a $44,000 dollar apartment in New York City. Clayton stated that he had no knowledge of the NYC pad, which she bankrolled by transferring monies from his account to hers by check.
“It was astonishing and revealed a whole side of Carol Hawkins I had never seen before,” Clayton explained.
The basist first met the couple at a Caribbean hotel in 1992. The pair were running the establishment at the time, which, apparently, greatly impressed Clayton. He soon hired Hawkins to run his household while he was on tour with the band, a position which included shopping, cleaning, and cooking. Before long, Hawkins had been bumped up to assistant status, giving her access to all of Clayton’s personal accounts in the process.
Hawkins, who pled not guilty to the charges, said that she had permission to write the checks, and that the horses were for Clayton’s enjoyment. The musician stated that he has no interest in horses, adding that he did not give her permission to write checks to herself.
“I would buy things I wanted around me, Carol Hawkins bought the cornflakes,” Clayton said.