According to the suit filed by Icelene Jones, ODB — whose real name is Russell Jones — signed an agreement in 1992 that promised him and fellow band members Dennis “Ghostface Killah” Coles, Corey “Raekwon” Woods and Gary “GZA” Grice 50 percent of royalties on the publishing of their music as well as earnings from Wu-Tang merch and other uses of their name.
While ODB’s estate received a $130,000 payment in July 2021 and some other deposits from the Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. in 2019 and 2020, Jones alleges the money “represent [s] only a small percentage of amounts payable to the estate under the recording agreement.” She also noted unpaid royalties between 2011-2021.
“Despite its repeated efforts and requests, the estate has been unable to obtain payments and accountings from the defendant under the recording agreement for the sale of Wu-Tang Clan Recordings and ODB recordings since at least 2011,” Jones charged in the suit. After over a decade of allegedly being “denied” and “ignored” by the company, ODB’s widow is now seeking $1 million in damages plus interest and compensation for attorney fees and costs.
“We have been very supportive in providing economically to the family through the estate and to his wife and children on record and off record,” the producer explained in an interview with Page Six. “ODB’s potential share of those records are minimal, are dismal, but nevertheless after those products are recouped his prorated portion belongs to him.”
He added, “We are a phone call away.”
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