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Tuesday, 12 March, 2002, 11:48 GMT
Singer Francis sues over rape scenes
Connie Francis
Connie Francis: Singing professionally since 1955
Singer Connie Francis has sued her record company for allegedly allowing her recordings to be used in two movies containing rape scenes.

Ms Francis, who was herself raped at knifepoint and badly beaten in 1974, is seeking tens of millions of dollars in damages from Universal Music in an action at Manhattan Federal Court.

She also wants the recording agreements rescinded and her master recordings returned.

Connie Francis
Performing again: Connie Francis in 2000

Lawyers for the 62-year-old performer say PolyGram - which was bought by Universal in 1998 - took advantage of Ms Francis's impaired mental capacity by failing to properly report and pay royalties due to her.

The company also allegedly breached contractual terms prohibiting the use of her recordings in compilations, films and advertisements.

The offending films are called Postcards from America and Jawbreakers.

The songs which Ms Francis claims Universal improperly licensed for use in the films are Souvenirs, Silent Night, Follow the Boys, Don't Break the Heart that Loves You and Lollipop Lips.

Wholesome image

Ms Francis, who lives in Florida, has recorded over 70 albums in the US since 1955.

Her lawyers say she has maintained a wholesome image throughout her career and her songs have portrayed her in a dignified manner that promotes family relationships and goodness.

She has been repeatedly treated for mental illness at psychiatric hospitals.

In the early 1980s, she was given powerful shock treatments.

The singer attempted suicide in 1984, and was in a coma for several days.

Ms Francis is now performing again, and is scheduled to appear in Atlantic City in April.

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