About John Lydon on Judge Judy:
Full US syndication. November 1997.
Robert Williams v's John Lydon!
Only in America folks. Drummer Robert Williams decides to take John Lydon to the small claims court, suing for $5,000 in unpaid fees and civil battery (a charge previously dismissed by the Police).
Enter the 'peoples court' style TV show 'Judge Judy' who on hearing of the action decides to approach both parties. To cut a long story short, not unsurprisingly (after listening to Williams) Judge Judy rules in Lydon's favour; but not before sternly admonishing him for speaking out of turn and disrupting the proceedings. Read the official Virgin Press release (below) for full info on the case.
Virgin Records Press Release
October, 20th 1997
The scales of justice will weigh a surrealistic issue this autumn, as John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) defends himself on national TV against accusations by a disgruntled ex-drummer, Robert Williams.
Presiding over the litigation is the honorable Judge Judy Sheindlin, known as "Judge Judy" to the millions of fans who faithfully tune in to her nationally syndicated television program.
The "Judge Judy" episode -- scheduled to tape October 21 for broadcast during November sweeps -- culminates a bizarre series of wranglings between Lydon and Williams. Lydon's representatives have given the following account of events leading up to the televised legal jujitsu:
Earlier this summer, Williams had been hired to play drums on Lydon's concert tour in support of Lydon's latest Virgin Records album, "Psycho's Path." During rehearsals, Williams' behavior became increasingly provocative, adversely affecting the camaraderie of the band. Under intense time pressure with confirmed concert dates looming, replacing Williams was not considered an option. Instead, Lydon's representatives scheduled a dinner meeting with Williams several days before the first concert date, hoping to discuss the situation and resolve various issues in a peaceful, rational manner.
During the dinner -- attended by Williams, Lydon, Lydon's manager, Eric Gardner, and tour manager -- Williams became increasingly agitated. When Lydon excused himself to use the restroom, Williams continued to argue with Lydon's manager and tour manager in Lydon's absence. Just as Lydon was returning to the dinner table, Williams announced that if his demands were not met he was quitting the tour. As Williams made his announcement, he leaped to his feet and bumped the top of his head into Lydon's chin. Williams immediately left the premises on his own accord, leaving behind a stunned Lydon & Co.
Faced with Williams' unexpected resignation, Lydon was forced to cancel the first tour date while frantically hiring and rehearsing a replacement drummer. The canceled show cost Lydon $6,000 in lost revenue, not to mention lost promotional opportunities and goodwill among disappointed fans. Rather than pursue Williams for recompense, Lydon considered the matter closed.
In the weeks following the July dinner incident, Williams filed criminal battery charges against Lydon. The charges were immediately dismissed when police investigators determined that Williams' case was completely unfounded. A subsequent civil suit was filed by Williams in small claims court claiming damages of $5,000 in lost wages and "civil battery."
Upon learning of the ongoing dispute between Lydon and Williams, the staff of "Judge Judy" recently approached Lydon's representatives and offered to adjudicate. When Gardner called Lydon to inform him of Judge Judy's offer, Lydon accepted immediately, exclaiming, "I love this country!" Lydon and Williams will appear together at an October 21 taping session; the episode is slated for broadcast in November.