Cher sues Sonny Bono's heirs over song and record revenues

Cher sued Sonny Bono's widow over royalties earned on Cher songs like "I Got You Babe" or "The Beat Goes On."

Cher sues Sonny Bono's heirs over song and record revenues

Cher filed a federal lawsuit in Los Angeles Wednesday against former Rep. Mary Bono, and other defendants. They claim Cher tried to end provisions of business agreements Cher made with Sonny Bono in 1975 when they separated. These agreements entitled them to 50% of their songwriting and recording royalties.

According to the lawsuit, Sonny Bono's heirs received notice in 2016 from him that they were terminating song licensing agreements. However, they "didn't terminate" and "could not have terminated his agreements with Cher.

Cher is alleged to have suffered damages of at least $1,000,000 in the breach-of-contract lawsuit

Mary Bono's lawyer stated that the family's actions are in line with their rights under the law.

Attorney Daniel Schacht stated that the Copyright Act allowed Sonny's widow, and his children, to reclaim Sonny’s copyrights from publishers. "Representative Bono is open to continuing a private conversation about this, but they are confident that the court will affirm their position if necessary."

Cher, a 75-year-old Grammy-, Oscar- and Emmy-winning singer and actor, is best known for her solo hits like "Believe" as well as roles in films such "Moonstruck." She began performing with Sonny Bono in 1964. Later, the two had their own TV variety show. They were married between 1969 and 1975.

Sonny Bono was elected mayor of Palm Springs, and then he became a California Congressman. In 1998, he was killed in a ski accident at Lake Tahoe. Mary Bono, his fourth spouse, was elected to his seat.

This article has been corrected to state that Cher and Sonny Bono were married between 1969 and 1975.

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