Ol' Dirty Bastard Estate Sues Wu-Tang & RZA For $1 Million
Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s family is demanding $1 million from Wu-Tang Productions.
According to court documents obtained by Radar, ODB’s widow Icelene Jones — who is the administrator of the late rapper’s estate — is suing the company owned and operated by Robert Fitzgerald Diggs aka RZA – ODB’s cousin.
Icelene explains in 1992 OBD co-founded Wu-Tang with a group of artists — Ghostface Killer, Raekwon and GZA. They entered into a deal where they would provide their services to Wu-Tang Productions for 50% of the net royalties and advances.
ODB also granted Wu-Tang Productions and RZA the rights to use his name and likeness in connection with merchandise and other videos.
Per their deal, Wu-Tang agreed to provide royalty statements and make timely payments.
Icelene points out during the eleven years covering ODB’s association with the Wu-Tang Clan and his career as a solo artist, ODB authored or co-authored a ton of tracks.
On November 13, 2004 ODB died during a recording session. Icelene says since 1992 through the present, Wu-Tang and RZA “widely exploited the rights granted to it by ODB with various albums, merchandising rights, a video game, clothing lines, television productions and a wide array of other products.
ODB’s estate says they have been unable to obtain payments and accountings from Wu-Tang and RZA since 2011. "Since at least 2011 ̧ Defendant has failed to render account statements to the Estate under the Recording Agreement," the estate claims.
The only exception Icelene says was a $130k payment in 2021. The check allegedly had no information on the payment and was only sent after they made numerous demands.
The estate says, "With the exception of the July 2021 Payment and the Warner-Tamerlane Direct Payments, [Wu-Tang] has failed for over 10 years, to pay or case to be paid royalties due under the Recording Agreement. The July 2021 Payment and the Warner-Tamerlane Direct Payments represent only a small percentage of amounts payable to the Estate under the Recording agreement."
“Defendant has failed and refused to pay sums justly due and owing to Plaintiff thereunder in connection with the commercial exploitation of the Wu-Tang Clan Recordings ODB’s solo recordings, ODB's Compositions, merchandising rights, and Videos,” the suit reads.
ODB’s estate is seeking in excess of $1 million in damages.