Yoko Ono has filed a new lawsuit against a former personal assistant of her late husband John Lennon after claiming the defendant is once again trying to profit off the family.
The latest filing follows a decades-old legal dispute, which came to a head in 1983 when Frederic Seaman admitted to the Manhattan district attorney in New York City that he had taken private photos, letters, and journals from the Lennon residence in Manhattan.
“At the time, Mrs. Lennon believed that to be the end of her ordeal with Seaman,” Ono’s lawyer, Dorothy Webber, wrote. “Those representations turned out to be lies and the start of yet another scheme.”
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Ono took legal action again in 1999 after Seaman again revealed he stole property belonging to the Lennons and that he failed to return the property after selling it on the memorabilia market.
In 2002, Ono settled the lawsuit with Seaman, who agreed to give up his copyright to hundreds of family photos of the Lennon family, and to be bound by a confidentiality agreement that he signed in 1979. He also issued a formal apology Ono.
“I did wrong by you and indeed am guilty of violating your trust. After more than 20 years, it is time for me to ask your forgiveness for my actions,” Seaman said, according to the lawsuit. “It is impossible to undo what has taken place. But it stops here and now. I will return any remaining things that I have that are yours. I will refrain from ever writing anything about you or your family or about my time in your employ. I offer no excuse for my conduct and only ask that you can find it in your heart to forgive so I can move on with my life.”
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The new lawsuit alleges Seaman is blatantly violating the 2002 court order after he sat down for a 23-minute interview in which he discussed the Beatle legend’s life and 1980 murder, while surrounded by memorabilia of the late singer.
In addition, Seaman had discussed his intention to revise and issue an expanded version of his book “The Last Days of John Lennon,” which Ono claims would “willfully and intentionally violate” the injunction laid down against him in 2002.
“As a direct consequence of Seaman’s actions, Mrs. Lennon has suffered and will suffer irreparable harm,” Ono’s lawyer added. “By this action, Mrs. Lennon seeks to again try to disabuse Seaman that he is entitled to exploit the name and intellectual property of Mrs. Lennon. Unless otherwise ordered by this Court again and held in contempt and punished for his contumacious behavior, it is clear that Seaman’s abuses will continue.”
Ono, 87, is suing Seaman for copyright infringement over the family photos and breach of contract, and is seeking up to $150,000 in damages. She is also asking Seaman to refrain from attempting to profit any further off her late husband’s legacy. (Dec. 8 will mark 40 years since Lennon, then age 40, was shot to death outside the couple’s home.)
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A spokesperson for Ono did not immediately return FOX Business’ request for comment by the time of publication.
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