Cher Warring With Sonny Bono’s Widow Mary Over Royalties From Her Hit Songs

Cher is suing Mary Bono, the widow of her ex-husband Sonny Bono, for $1 million over the rights to some of the singing pair’s most iconic songs.

Cher, 75, has filed a lawsuit against her late ex-husband Sonny Bono‘s widow, Mary Bono, and accused her of withholding royalties of Sonny and Cher’s music. Per reports, the “Believe” singer is seeking $1 million from Mary, 59, and filed the legal paperwork in Los Angeles federal court on Wednesday, October 13. In the documents, which were obtained by Deadline and Rolling Stone, Cher claims that Mary has kept the pop superstar from receiving her share of royalties from the iconic hits she once performed with Sonny, such as “I Got You Babe” and “The Beat Goes On.”

Cher’s argument is that, as her 1975 divorce agreement with Sonny reportedly states, she should be receiving 50% of royalties of the former singing pair’s content. But instead, Mary “has undone” Cher’s ownership of the rights and royalties, the singer reportedly alleges in the lawsuit. Rolling Stone also reported that Mary allegedly attempted to use “a wholly inapplicable statutory termination provision of the Copyright Act of 1976” in order to block Cher from receiving the royalties. Mary has yet to respond to the legal filing.

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As fans know, Cher and Sonny made up one of the most iconic music duos of all time. They were married from 1969 to 1975, and had one child together, Chaz Bono, 52, who transitioned from female to male in 2009. After the pair parted ways, Cher continued to dominate in the film and music industry, while Sonny explored a career in politics. First, he became the mayor of Palm Springs, California, and then was elected a Republican congressman of California’s 44th district.

As for Mary, she came into Sonny’s life during his political endeavors. They got married in March 1986, and had two children together: daughter Chianna Maria Bono, 30, and son Chesare Elan Bono, 33. Sonny sadly died at the age of 62 on January 5, 1998 in a skiing accident. Mary took over her husband’s political position in the House of Representatives after the tragedy.

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