John Lydon compares contract in Sex Pistols dispute to ‘slave labour’

John Lydon compares contract in Sex Pistols dispute to ‘slave labour’
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Former Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon has blasted a contract at the heart of a legal dispute between him and his ex-bandmates over Danny Boyle’s new TV show, comparing it to “slave labour”.

Lydon, also known as Johnny Rotten, is currently being sued by fellow Pistols Paul Cook and Steve Jones so that the group’s music can be used in the forthcoming Disney miniseries, Pistol, about the band’s tumultuous history.

Cook and Jones argue that a band member agreement (BMA) created in 1998 means decision regarding licensing are taken on a majority basis. Lydon’s stance is that their music cannot be used in a TV series without his consent.

Appearing in court today (Wednesday 21 July), he attacked the series as “the most disrespectful s*** I’ve ever had to endure”.

“The BMA has never been applied in anything we have ever done since 1998,” he claimed.

Whilst giving evidence, Lydon also stated that “the Sex Pistols have so far managed to agree how to conduct their business with “unanimity”. He described the lawsuit as “poison” and a “trap”.

“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.

Edmund Cullen QC, representing Cook and Jones, accused Lydon of giving “false evidence” to which he replied with: “False evidence? I’m sorry, how? Where?"

Lounge act: Steve Jones, Johnny Rotten, Glen Matlock and Paul Cook (Getty)
Lounge act: Steve Jones, Johnny Rotten, Glen Matlock and Paul Cook (Getty)

Lydon also confessed that legal documents “terrify” him and that he “didn’t understand” what a BMA was when he signed it.

Earlier in the week, Cook described his lead singer as a “total d***”.

Lydon has previously branded Boyles’ biopic as “the most disrespectful s*** I’ve ever had to endure”.

Cullen has previously told the court in written submissions that original band member Glen Matlock, who was replaced by Sid Vicious, and the representatives of the estate of Sid Vicious, who died in February 1979, support their position.

Pistol is expected to air in 2022.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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