REALLY GOT A HOLD ON ME? SMOKEY ROBINSON LEGAL WAR

Published on: May 12, 2014
Photography by: Reuters/Corbis
REALLY GOT A HOLD ON ME? SMOKEY ROBINSON LEGAL WAR

Motown king SMOKEY ROBINSON’s ex-wife wants a chunk of his royalties and is going to war for it!

Smokey is still paying for his divorce nearly thirty years later— and if his ex Claudette has her way, the $275 million Motown legend will continue to do so.

In March, the singer/songwriter/hitmaker, 74, filed a lawsuit against his former wife, from whom he officially split in 1985 after 27 years of marriage, claiming as per the 1976 Copyright Act, she no longer owns the music copyright and royalty rights she was awarded in their 1986 divorce settlement.

(The act dictates that copyrights expire 28 years after they were originally created.)

“As the sole author of the musical compositions at issue, [Smokey] has the exclusive right…to terminate his assignments of copyrights after a certain number of years,” court documents claim. “[He] has properly issued termination notices for all currently-eligible copyrights.”

But Claudette is firing back at "The Tears of a Clown" singer, claiming she is still entitled to 50% of the cut from all her ex-husband’s music created between 1958 and 1985.

Smokey “assigned [Claudette] a one-half interest in the Community Musical Compositions, and no termination right is available under the Copyright Act with respect to that assignment,” documents allege.

Claudette, 71, is demanding a trial by jury.

Gonna take a miracle?

Read the Documents