Ray Parker Jr. is suing Huey Lewis over comments he made in his “Behind the Music” special, accusing the pop singer of breaking a confidentiality agreement concerning Parker’s 1984 hit “Ghostbusters.”
The suit, filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, states that Lewis breached the agreement by publicly discussing the lawsuit he filed against Parker 17 years ago, claiming “Ghostbusters” infringed on the copyright of Huey Lewis and the News’ hit “I Want a New Drug.”
The settlement agreement Lewis and Parker reached for that lawsuit in 1995 banned them from revealing any information that was not included in a press release they jointly issued at the time. The press release stated that the matter had been “amicably resolved.”
Parker’s lawsuit quotes Lewis (born Hugh Cregg) saying on “Behind the Music”: “The offensive part was not so much that Ray Parker Jr. had ripped this song off, it was kind of symbolic of an industry that wants something — they wanted our wave, and they wanted to buy it. … [I]t’s not for sale. … In the end, I suppose they were right. I suppose it was for sale, because, basically, they bought it.”
That money was paid to resolve the lawsuit was protected by the confidentiality agreement, Parker claims.
The lawsuit states that the confidentiality agreement was “directly related to [Parker’s] comfort, happiness and welfare,” and that Lewis’ comments were “inflammatory and disparaging” and “false” and caused Parker emotional distress.
Parker is seeking an unspecified amount of compensatory and punitive damages as well as lawyer’s fees and “further relief as the Court deems just and proper.”
Huey Lewis’ lawyer, Gerry Margolis, said he could not offer comment when reached Friday evening (March 23). He said he had just received a copy of the suit and had not had a chance to review it fully.