Cher sues Sonny Bono’s widow in royalty dispute

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Cher filed a lawsuit against Sonny Bono’s widow, alleging that she terminated the music contracts contrary to the terms of the musicians’ divorce agreement.

The 1978 deal meant the former couple were to share the royalties for their Sonny & Cher hits equally. But in recently filed documents, Cher claimed that Mary Bono had started renegotiating to take 100 percent of the income through her Bono Collection Trust, with none going to Cher’s Veritas Trust.

Sonny & Cher released five albums and 21 singles from 1965 to 1974. The end of their marriage did not initially end their high-profile entertainment careers together, but it broke up soon after. Sonny married Mary in 1986 and then died 12 years later; Cher delivered a eulogy at his funeral.

The breach of contract lawsuit seeks at least $ 1 million in redress for contracts ending between 2018 and 2026. The Bono Collection Trust’s position is that it is completely legal for them to renegotiate the law agreements. author with the record companies after a certain time has elapsed and Cher’s right to participate in any negotiations has expired. The Veritas Trust retorts that the divorce agreement trumps this legislation.

Cher documents (via the Los Angeles Times) states that it “disputes every claim made by the Bono Collection Trust, but the Bono Collection Trust continues to adhere to its claims and has, or will soon cease, paying Veritas Trust 50% of the composition and performance royalties. honor the applicant’s rights under the Marriage Settlement Agreement.

The document went on to say that “Mary Bono claims that a totally unenforceable statutory termination provision in the Copyright Act of 1976 … overturned [Cher’s] ownership of her royalties on songs and recordings she and Sonny made famous during their marriage, and private [Cher] other rights long established under the 1978 Agreement.

“Copyright law allows Sonny’s widow and children to reclaim Sonny’s copyright from the publishers, which they did,” Bono’s attorney Daniel Schacht said, in a press release. “Bono remains open to further private discussion on this matter, but we are confident that, if necessary, the court will uphold his position.”

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