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Cher scores legal victory in suit against Sonny Bono’s widow

Rocco Spaziani/Archivio Spaziani/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

She’ll get money, babe.


Cher has emerged victorious in a lawsuit against Mary Bono, the widow of Cher’s late ex-husband, Sonny Bono, who died in 1998. Cher’s complaint was that Mary claimed she no longer had to pay Cher her, well, share of song royalties that she was entitled to in her 1978 divorce settlement with Sonny. 

Mary’s claim was based on something called a “termination right,” which allows songwriters and their heirs to get back control of their work even if they gave them away years ago. In 2021, Mary told Cher that she was going to stop paying her the 50% cut of the publishing royalties that she and Sonny had agreed to — royalties that come from Sonny & Cher hits like “The Beat Goes On” and “I Got You Babe.” That’s when Cher sued.

According to court documents obtained by ABC News, in a ruling on Wednesday a judge sided with Cher, saying that her divorce settlement with Sonny overruled the “termination right.” According to the ruling, Cher is owed more than $400,000 in royalties that have accumulated since the 2021 lawsuit began.

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