John Lydon brands Sex Pistols contract ‘slave labour’ amid bitter legal row

Sex Pistols legend John Lydon has lashed out at a contract during a bitter legal battle between him and his ex-bandmates – comparing it to "slave labour".

It comes as former singer Lydon, 65, is being sued by his former Sex Pistol bandmates Paul Cook and Steve Jones – who are fighting to feature the punk group's songs in Danny Boyle's upcoming Disney miniseries, Pistol, which tells the story of the band's rocky past.

Whilst Lydon insists the band's music cannot be used in a TV series without him giving consent to do so, Cook and Jones have argued that an agreement formed in 1998 – a band member agreement (BMA) – means that a majority basis settles any decisions regarding music licensing.

Lydon appeared in court on Wednesday (21 July), where he bashed the Disney series as "the most disrespectful s*** I've ever had to endure".

He also claimed: "The BMA has never been applied in anything we have ever done since 1998".

Lydon also went on to describe the lawsuit as "poison" and a "trap" – stating that up until now the band had agreed "how to conduct their business with 'unanimity'".

He continued by saying: "I don’t understand how Steve and Paul think they have the right to insist that I do something that I so morally heart and soul disagree with without any involvement"

On the other hand, Edmund Cullen QC, who represents Cook and Jones, accused Lydon of giving "false evidence" which prompted him to reply: "False evidence? I'm sorry, how? Where?".

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Lydon also added that the legal documents "terrify" him and that he "didn't understand" what a BMA was when he signed it back in the 90s.

It comes after Cook described John as a "total d***" earlier in the week.

It also follows Cullen previously telling the court that Glen Matlock – an original member of the band – supports their position.

The representative also stated in the written submissions that Sid Vicious' estate also agrees with their argument.

Bass guitarist Sid Vicious replaced Glen Matlock in the band before tragically passing away in February 1979.

The Sex Pistols formed in London in 1975 and despite their initial career only spanning two and a half years, they have been hailed as one of the most groundbreaking bands in music history.

Pistol, Danny Boyle's documentary on the English punk rockers, is set to air in 2022.

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