Punk News

I wanna be subpoenaed: Ramones court battle looms

Johnny Ramone's widow Linda sues over Netflix biopic

It’s baseball bats at the ready, in a purely figurative, legal sense, as the estate of Johnny Ramone (pictured above left) sues Mickey Leigh over upcoming biopic ‘I Slept With Joey Ramone’.

The Netflix documentary staring Pete Davidson is based a book of the same name by Leigh, the brother of Ramones singer Joey (above, second from right).

But, although it has the cooperation and support of Joey Ramone’s estate, Johnny Ramone’s is less than pleased about the upcoming film.

The guitarist’s widow Linda filed a lawsuit in Manhattan court last month claiming the biopic was “an unapproved unauthorized Ramones-based biopic” that was based on Leigh’s “one-sided recitation of the history of the Ramones”, according to Billboard.

Linda’s lawsuit wants the film’s production to have to gain her approval. Linda and Leigh have equal shares in the Ramones’ intellectual property, and respectively represent Johnny and Joey Ramone’s estates.

“Ms. Ramone objects to defendants’ attempt to create a Ramones film without her involvement — not to be obstinate, but rather based on defendants’ disregard for [Ramones] assets and their conduct and treatment of Ms. Ramone and her late husband,” Linda’s attorneys wrote. “To permit defendants alone to tell the authoritative story of the Ramones would be an injustice to the band and its legacy.”

Johnny and Joey Ramone, who died of cancer in 2004 and 2001 respectively, had a famously fractured relationship, particularly after Linda, who originally dated Joey, left him for Johnny.

The Joey Ramone biopic was announced on the 20th anniversary of the iconic punk singer’s death. Adam Fogelson, chairman of the film’s production company STXfilms, said in 2021: “‘I Slept with Joey Ramone’ is a great rock anthem that will make an equally great rock biopic, set apart by a universal story of family.”

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