Cher Wins Lawsuit Against Sonny Bono’s Widow for $418,000 in Withheld Royalties – Judge Rules in Singer’s Favor

Los Angeles, California – Cher emerges victorious in a lawsuit against Mary Bono, widow of her former musical partner and husband Sonny Bono. The dispute arose over royalties from their chart-topping song catalog that has been ongoing since their 1978 divorce settlement agreement.

Cher and Sonny Bono agreed to split publishing revenue evenly in their divorce settlement, a pact that continued even after Bono’s passing in 1998. However, in 2016, Mary Bono invoked a copyright law provision allowing songwriters and their heirs to reclaim rights they previously signed away. This move led to royalties being withheld from Cher in 2021, prompting the singer to take legal action.

After a prolonged legal battle, a judge ruled in Cher’s favor, stating that the right to receive royalties is separate from a grant of copyright. As a result, Cher is entitled to continue receiving financial compensation as per the original agreement, amounting to around $418,000 in withheld royalties.

The ruling by US District Judge John Kronstadt favored Cher, affirming her contractual rights in the face of the termination clause invoked by Mary Bono. Despite the decision, neither Cher nor Mary Bono have provided public statements regarding the outcome of the lawsuit.

Cher, now 78 years old, enjoyed a successful solo career following her split from Sonny Bono, achieving global recognition with hits like “Believe.” Her latest album, “Christmas,” released in October 2023, includes the chart-topping single “DJ Play a Christmas Song,” marking her seventh decade with a No. 1 hit on a Billboard chart.

This legal victory for Cher not only secures her rightful royalties but also highlights the complexities of copyright law and contractual agreements in the music industry. Cher’s legacy as a music icon remains intact, bolstered by her enduring talent and resilience in the face of legal challenges.