LOS ANGELES (AP) -Cher sued the widow of her former musical partner and ex-husband Sonny Bono for the royalties for Sonny and Cher songs including “I Got You Babe” and “The Beat Goes On.”
In a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles, Cher claims the former rep. Mary Bono and other defendants tried to conclude the terms of business agreements that Cher and Sonny Bono reached when they divorced in 1975, each of which entitles them to 50% of songwriting and recording loyalties.
The lawsuit alleges that Sonny Bono’s heirs filed a notice in 2016 stating that they had signed some of his song license agreements, but that they “did not stop and could not have concluded” his agreement with Cher.
The breach of contract claims that the damage to Cher is at least $ 1 million in total.
Mary Bono’s lawyer said the family’s movements were within their rights and the law.
“Copyright law allows Sonny’s widow and children to take back the rights of publishers to do what they did,” attorney Daniel Schacht said in a statement. “Representative Bono remains open to conduct a private discussion on the matter, but we are confident that, if necessary, the court will confirm its position.”
Cher, the 75-year-old Grammy, Oscar and Emmy winning singer and actor known for solo hits including “Believe” and film roles including “Moonstruck”, began playing as a duo with Sonny Bono in 1964. The two later had a television Variety Show. They were married from 1967 to 1975.
Sonny Bono became mayor of Palm Springs and later a California congressman for the area. He died in a ski accident in Lake Tahoe in 1998, and Mary Bono, his fourth wife, won his seat.