Ono sues Capitol over Lennon royalties


NEW YORK -- John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, has filed a $10 million lawsuit against her late husband's old record company accusing them of cheating his estate out of his royalties.

In a three-page lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court and made public on Wednesday, Ono alleges that Capitol Records and its parent company EMI Group PLC not only stiffed the estate out of millions from Lennon's solo records by under-reporting royalties but that they were dishonest in their accounting statements.

The breach of contract filing includes a summons alleging that Capitol/EMI "breached these agreements and have abused the nearly half-century-old relationship of trust and confidence by willfully and knowingly underreporting royalties."

The suit offers no specific details other than asking for at least $10 million plus interest.

Ono's lawyer, Paul LaCalsi, was unavailable for comment.

While spokesman for EMI/Capitol Adam Grossberg would not discuss the specifics of the lawsuit, he said that "Artists do request from time to time audits of their record label accounts. It is not unusual and we have no problem with it."

However, he pointed out that "sometimes there are differences of opinion. Contracts are very complex and in rare situations it is up to the courts or mediation to resolve. But 99 times out of 100 these audits are resolved in an amicable settlement."