Now-Again label head hits back at “baseless and libellous” MF DOOM lawsuit
Eothen “Egon” Alapatt was sued by MF DOOM’s widow last month over alleged notebook theft.
Credit: Roger Kisby/Getty Images
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MF DOOM’s widow sued Eothen “Egon” Alapatt last month, claiming that Egon, the founder and president of Now-Again Records, took the notebooks while DOOM, real name Daniel Dumile, was in the UK before his 2020 death, and has refused to return them.
But Egon’s attorneys have called her case “baseless and libellous”, with attorney Kenneth Freundlich releasing a statement on Tuesday (14 November). He wrote, “Plaintiffs’ complaint is the continuation of a year-long smear campaign filled with baseless and libellous attacks on Alapatt’s integrity and character.”
DOOM travelled to the UK to perform in 2010, but due to immigration issues couldn’t return back to the US. He then died suddenly a decade later following rare complications relating to blood pressure medication.
His widow, Jasmine Dumile Thompson, sets out in the lawsuit that DOOM left behind 31 “rhyme books” in his Los Angeles studio, containing original lyrics to both released and unreleased songs, as well as song ideas. Her lawyers claim that Egon “took advantage of DOOM’s being out of the country” to buy the books from his landlord without his permission.
And it ’s alleged that when DOOM asked for them back, Egon “delayed, obfuscated and deflected”, before refusing to return them. And Thompson claims that he’s demanded the notebooks be donated to an archive, going against her late husband’s wishes for them to stay “secret and confidential.”
Thompson’s lawyers wrote in their complaint, “Who is Alapatt to decide that the notebooks containing the personal and intellectual property of DOOM, the rights to which are plaintiffs’ alone, must be donated to an archive against the will of the deceased artist and his surviving family? Setting aside the fact that the notebooks were stolen, Alapatt’s arrogant paternalism and extreme tone-deafness in trying to dictate that the notebooks be donated is astonishing.”
Meanwhile, Egon’s lawyers have admitted that he took possession of the notebooks, but claimed that DOOM wasn’t their legal owner at the time of his death. Rather, the landlord was the owner because the notebooks had been left there, and there was unpaid rent on the studio.
They argued that, had Egon not bought them, the landlord “would have either sold or possibly destroyed the notebooks.”
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