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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 January, 2004, 06:37 GMT
Harrison's doctor sued by estate
George Harrison
George Harrison died of cancer in 2001
The estate of former Beatle George Harrison has started a $10m (5.5m) legal action against one of the doctors who treated him.

The estate, run by the late musician's family, says Dr Gilbert Lederman of Staten Island University Hospital coerced Harrison to sign souvenirs.

The action also alleges Dr Lederman used Harrison's treatment to gain publicity for himself and his hospital.

Dr Lederman, through his solicitor, has strongly denied the allegations.

Harrison died of cancer in November 2001 in Los Angeles.

One of the main allegations of the legal action, filed in Brooklyn Federal Court, was that Dr Lederman got an extremely sick Harrison to sign his son's guitar and autographs for his two daughters.

In the latest legal move, Mr Lederman has offered to donate the guitar, which has been valued at less than $10,000 to a charity agreed upon by both sides.

But Harrison's family dismissed the offer as "spin" and said they would not drop the lawsuit.

As far as Mr Harrison being forced to sign the guitar goes, he absolutely and categorically denies that
Dr Lederman's lawyer
Court papers claim Dr Lederman "preyed upon Mr Harrison while he was in a greatly deteriorated mental and physical condition by coercing" him to sign the items.

They suggest Dr Lederman took his children to see Harrison, making the musician listen to his son playing the guitar.

They go on to say that when Harrison resisted signing autographs, Dr Lederman held his hand to help him write.


"As far as Mr Harrison being forced to sign the guitar goes, he absolutely and categorically denies that," said the doctor's lawyer, Wayne Roth.

It is also alleged that the doctor sold his story to the National Enquirer after Harrison's death, along with pictures of his son holding the guitar.

"Staten Island University Hospital takes patient confidentiality very seriously and has not breached confidentiality," said hospital spokeswoman Arleen Ryback.

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