Yoko Ono Sues Singer For Using The Name Lennon
Tuesday February 12, 2008 http://www.chartattack.com/damn/2008/02/1207.cfm
Yoko Ono has filed a lawsuit against American singer Lennon Murphy for using the last name of her late husband.
Murphy's mother named her Lennon after the former Beatles member. She's been performing under the Lennon moniker since 1997 and used it when she was signed by Arista Records in 2000.
"My product manager at Arista was ironically the son of the lawyer who actually represents Yoko," Murphy wrote in a MySpace blog entry last week. "So he approached Yoko, to make her aware of the use, evidently giving her blessing as Arista proceeded forward with the album release and at the same time filing for the trademark," which was granted in 2003.
While we empathize with Murphy's situation, we hope her songwriting makes more sense than this next passage from her blog:
"8 long hard years pass and no one says a word. Just 2 days before the statue of limitations was up this very same lawyer we went to in 2000 filed their complain. I accusing me of falsly representing myself and causing confusion in the market place that has damaged to the John Lennon name."
Murphy says she can't afford to hire a lawyer and fight the suit, claiming that she hasn't worked since October and lives on just enough to get her through until she can start touring again. "I have no idea what I'm going to do yet in this situation, and I'm stressed, angry, and scared," she wrote.
"I'm pissed and hurt that someone in Yoko's position has nothing better to do than f**k with my life, and collect the $25,000,000 a year that the John Lennon estate brings in. Yes, this is a real number or close enough to it. This is how I look at it. With that kind of income she probably pays more in taxes every year the you or I will make in our whole life time. So what do I have that can be of such value to her after 8 years. I don't want to lose my name all because someone is bored in their life of luxury."
Interestingly, Julian Lennon (John Lennon's son from his first wife, Cynthia Lennon) has posted Murphy's entry on his MySpace blog page with a heading that says: "Sad but True & interesting........... I feel for her & know the situation well."
According to the bio on Murphy's MySpace page, this isn't the first bit of bad luck she's encountered. She's endured tour bus accidents, had to fight for the custody of her young sister after the death of their only parent, and had her debut album, 5:30 Saturday Morning, released by Arista on the fateful day of Sept. 11, 2001, when terrorists launched four suicide attacks in the U.S. that claimed 3,000 lives. Arista subsequently dropped Murphy.
Murphy's latest independent album is the appropriately titled Damaged Goods.