Parliament Funkadelic leader George Clinton is being sued by the estate of the late George “Bernie” Worrell, Jr., a man who helped Clinton pen and perform many of his hits from the 1970s and 1980s. Bernie passed away back in 2016 and his widow claims that the collaborators had a royalties deal before Bernie died, something they agreed upon back in 1976, but says Clinton has been skimping out on paying up. Bernie’s widow also claims that Clinton is responsible for turning his bandmates into drug addicts, costing them money as they were forced to seek help.
“Clinton has a history of fraud, deceit, and delinquency when it comes to the performance of contracts that he has entered into on behalf of himself or his companies,” The Blastreports the widow states in her lawsuit. In a recent documentary, the widow points out, musicians who worked with Clinton claim that he would give them drugs only to deduct the cost of the drugs from their paychecks.
The court documents say that as the “drug supplier,” Clinton encouraged the use of illegal substances and used his position on tour to control other members, justifying holding on to the money retained from both royalties and live performances. “Clinton’s drug culture caused many of the band members to become addicts who had to seek treatment for their addiction later in life,” it says in the lawsuit. Band member Grady Thomas recounts how “[Clinton] had a long fingernail. And he would go around and… ‘Hey man, here. Have some.’”
Bernie’s widow alleges that “the band members never recovered and drug addiction cost them their lives. Clinton manipulated the band members with drugs and promises which were never kept.” The estate is suing for an unspecified amount in damages.