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Friday, 26 July, 2002, 17:08 GMT 18:08 UK
The Osbournes 'stole programme idea'
Ozzy Osbourne
Osbourne played at the Queen's Jubilee party in June
Ozzy Osbourne is being sued over MTV show The Osbournes by a producer who says the singer stole his idea.

Hollywood producer Gary Binkow has alleged he met Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, along with executives from Miramax TV, on many occasions during 1999 and 2000.

They discussed making "a real-life docu-sitcom" about the singer and his family.

Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne
Sharon (right) manages her husband's business affairs
A spokeswoman for Osbourne's wife Sharon has denied that Mr Binkow created the show.

The fly-on-the-wall series about the former Black Sabbath frontman's home life has been pulling audiences of six million in the US and is to be shown in the UK in the autumn.

Mr Binkow's lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday, claimed the Osbournes "misappropriated the plaintiff's idea and concept without his knowledge and consent and without compensating him".

Dispute

The producer is currently working on the movie Neverland, starring Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet, which is being filmed in London.

Ozzy Osbourne is also involved in a dispute with two former musical partners.

Bassist Bob Daisley and drummer Lee Kerslake have complained publicly about the re-releases of two of Osbourne's most successful solo albums - Blizzard Of Ozz and Diary Of A Madman.


Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake have harassed Ozzy and our family for several years

Sharon Osbourne
According to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal, the two albums were recalled from music shops in April and replaced with new versions - with the musical contributions of Mr Daisley and Mr Kerslake erased and re-recorded by others.

The move follows years of legal action against Osbourne by Mr Daisley and Mr Kerslake, who have both claimed they were not paid all the royalties they were owed on the multi-million-selling albums.

This was denied in a statement released earlier this year by Sharon Osbourne, who said: "Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake have harassed Ozzy and our family for several years.

"Because of their abusive and unjust behaviour, Ozzy wanted to remove them from these recordings.

"We turned a negative into a positive by adding a fresh sound to the original albums."

Ozzy Osbourne at the Queen's Jubilee rock concert
Blizzard Of Ozz relaunched Osbourne's career in 1980
The enmity between the Osbournes and the two musicians runs deep.

Mr Daisley and Mr Kerslake have said they never signed contracts that had been drawn up for their performances because Jet Records - run by Don Arden, Sharon Osbourne's father - kept stalling.

Fired

Eventually the musicians found they were not being treated as band members entitled to a share of royalties, but merely as session musicians.

The two musicians have also claimed they were summarily fired by Osbourne before a tour to publicise the second of the albums, Diary Of A Madman.

Mr Daisley began his action against Osbourne in 1997. His lawyers now say that the two musicians could be owed millions of dollars including damages and interest, depending on the sales totals for the records.

The Osbournes' lawyer has disputed all of the musicians' claims - and said that in any case, the statute of limitations to make such claims has long passed.

The case has been set for trial early next year.

See also:

13 Jun 02 | Entertainment
29 May 02 | Entertainment
27 May 02 | Entertainment
26 May 02 | Entertainment
09 May 02 | Entertainment
05 May 02 | Americas
13 Apr 02 | Entertainment
08 Mar 02 | Entertainment
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