Former Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon has slammed a contract at the heart of a legal dispute with his ex-band members over the rights to use their music for an upcoming TV show.
Fellow Pistols Paul Cook and Steve Jones are suing Lydon, also known as Johnny Rotten, so that the band's music can be used in Danny Boyle’s new miniseries about their history, according to Independent. They claim that, according to a 1998 band member agreement (BMA), the decision to use the music is based on a majority basis while Lydon insists that his consent is needed before the music is used in a TV series.
During a court appearance on Wednesday, Lydon compared the BMA to "slave labor" and called the series "the most disrespectful s--t I’ve ever had to endure."
"The BMA has never been applied in anything we have ever done since 1998," he claimed.
Lydon further described the lawsuit as "poison" and a "trap," stating that "the Sex Pistols have so far managed to agree how to conduct their business with 'unanimity.'"
"I don’t understand how Steve and Paul think they have the right to insist that I do something that I so morally heart and soul disagree with without any involvement," he said.
Lydon also stated that legal documents "terrify" him and admitted he did not "understand" what a BMA was when he signed it.
Edmund Cullen QC, who is representing Cook and Jones, meanwhile accused Lydon of giving "false evidence."
Drummer Cook said earlier this week that the band is "probably gone for good" as the legal dispute continues, NME reported.
"I thought that our relationship with John would get worse when we used it," Cook said in his witness statement. "Maybe Steve [Jones] and I have been too nice to John over the years in trying to maintain good relations and that we should have been tougher."
At a court appearance earlier this month, Jones admitted he disliked Lydon and said that the two had not spoken since 2008, which was a year after the band's reunion tour, according to AP News. Jones further stated that acrimony between bandmates was not unusual.
"I think there’s a lot of bands who resent each other," the musician said.
The band’s original bassist, Glen Matlock, and the representatives of the estate of Sid Vicious, who died in February 1979, support Cook and Jones' decision.
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