Part 3: George Clinton Files Bankruptcy
(This is Part Three of Three)
On July 16, 2015 – George told reporter, Justin Joffe, that the “bankruptcy was fictitious”.
“Mr. Clinton allegedly filed for bankruptcy. Allegedly because, in Mr. Clinton’s words, the bankruptcy was fictitious—part of a “systematic fraud” to deprive Mr. Clinton millions of dollar owed to him from the highest selling single of his career”.
This is untrue. How do we know? Because we were one of the people and/or companies (along with Leber Krebs and many others) who sued George. In Bernie’s case, it was for unpaid tour money due him as well as for unpaid session/coproduction work. It was because we were among the list of creditors that we were sent *all* paperwork pertaining to the bankruptcy and this included the bankruptcy papers signed by George Clinton.
“Day One” – Malbiz Music (George’s publishing arm) has “many, many Songwriter agreements” (more about this later). George is sued by multiple entities. During bankruptcy, George states he has no assets.
“Day Two” — Bridgeport Music (Armen Boladian’s publishing arm) allegedly now has “many, many Songwriter Agreements”. Now, George/Malbiz has no Songwriter Agreements. What George does have is a ranch in Michigan. This deal, regarding publishing, was initiated by George in a (successful) attempt to defraud his creditors. Did Bernie ever sign ANY songwriting agreements. We think he might have before I looked up from whatever I was reading and put a stop to it. However, when asked to send us copies of the Songwriter Agreements George said he had – only a few were sent and a couple of them are clear forgeries (see below)
George has filed lawsuit after lawsuit to get “his” publishing back. As the forgeries started in HIS camp (see name of publishing company on the forged Songwriter Agreement below), he is responsible for every single writer losing their publishing…..something many didn’t even find out about until the sampling started. It was George who set that whole nasty business in motion. He named his publishing company truthfully: “mal” in French means “bad”. In effect, Malbiz = bad business!!! Prophetic much?
“Judge Drops Da Bomb on George Clinton”
By ABC NEWS [link]
T A L L A H A S S E E, Fla., Jan. 30
A judge ruled that American funk music star George Clinton can not keep rights to music he wrote in the late 1970s and early 1980s — work worth more than $100 million in profits, the singer’s Web site said.
U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle said Monday that the music written between 1976 and 1983 belonged to Bridgeport Music, a Michigan-based music publishing company that Clinton signed the rights away to in a 1983 contract.
Hinkle also barred Clinton from profiting from the songs, saying the singer did not disclose them in a 1984 bankruptcy filing as possible future income.
Funkster Was Hoping for Millions
Clinton, 60, argued that he never signed a valid contract. The lawsuit, filed in 1999, also claimed that he lost money from rap music artists using samples of his old songs but not paying fees. Clinton declined comment as he left the courthouse, the Tallahassee Democrat reported in today’s editions. “We literally were expecting millions of dollars out of this,” said Don Wilson, Clinton’s attorney. “This just means we regroup and decide how to exploit the songs we do have rights to.”
Clinton signed the deal so the company could retrieve more than a million dollars advanced to him during his financial troubles in the 1980s, Bridgeport Music president Armen Boladian testified.
Handwriting Expert Testifies
A handwriting expert testified that it was likely the signature was indeed Clinton’s, refuting Wilson’s claim that his client did not sign. Wilson added that the agreement was worthless because Clinton’s wife, Stephanie, co-owned the music rights and would have had to also sign the contract. Clinton, a Tallahassee-area resident, was the founder of the popular funk group Parliament, which later changed its name to Funkadelic. His hits include “One Nation Under a Groove,” “Flashlight” and “Atomic Dog.”
A few facts:
- Below is a copy of the bottom of a Songwriter Agreement that Bernie is alleged to have signed. Who, among you, thinks that college educated (Majoring in Classical Piano at the New England Conservatory of Music) Dr. G. Bernard Worrell, Jr. didn’t know how to spell his own last name?
- Who, among you, can see the publishing company (Malbiz Music) on the bottom of this and STILL think George was not behind this?
- How did George think he could get away with claiming that one of his females (Stephanie, in this case) “owned” music rights? NOT any of Bernie’s!!!!
I have told you all along that the forgery(ies?) started in George’s camp and THIS is your proof.
It’s hard to see above but the forged last name is spelled “Woall”. THIS is how the publishing of the other writers, including our Mr. Worrell, was first usurped. No, I was not there. Neither was Judge Hinkle!! But he managed to figure out what happened as did Bernie and I. Now, you’d think all those people who sampled (and continue to sample) Bernie (cause would SOMEONE please tell me what instrument George played???) would have paid him, right? Well, if they ever paid anyone, it never trickled down to Bernie.
Do any of you remember when George put out “Sample Sum A Dis, Sample Sum a DAT”? Well, not a ONE of the musicians actually being sampled EVER GOT ONE RED CENT!!! George kept all profits yet he laments above that “also claimed that he lost money from rap music artists using samples of his old songs but not paying fees.”
And all of this, ladies and gentlemen, added to the loss of his Artist Royalties, is why Bernie needed to have Benefits done. Not because Bernie didn’t earn the money, but because it was stolen, misappropriated, misdirected, whatever verbiage floats your boat.
Now, I promised Bernie that once I posted the third installment of what really happened, that I would “slow down and let it go”. Bernie didn’t speak on this during interviews because it was one of his triggers and he wanted to stay positive. He said “if I go there, hon, it affects my music”. So, *I* handled it so Bernie could stay on his AA program because it was more important to keep Bernie contented and happy than to tell the truth UNTIL Bernie finally had enough.
Why isn’t Bernie part of the Bobby Brown documentary? (Cause we learned from our mistake (my fault) with Phil di Fiore (for which Bernie received one payment of $1,000 and NO statements ever, etc.) we required a “letter agreement stipulating that if/when you release the documentary commercially, Bernie would share”. Bobby never sent the Letter Agreement; Bernie never participated.
To those of you who don’t want to believe any of the truths Bernie and I have shared with you:
- The truth is the truth. Nobody has to believe it — there are some who still believe the sun revolves around the earth.
- Bernie and I sat in front of a camera while we discussed this because Bernie knew that “some” would “come after you when I’m gone, hon”.
- Some of you say you want to “keep the funk alive”. By “burying your heads in the sand”, and not wanting to know the truth, what you are actually keeping alive is the nightmare that George turned everyone’s dream into.
For years, George has toured on the backs of the work of ORIGINAL P-Funk (the ones who actually wrote the songs in the first place) and not a one of them have enjoyed the “fruits of their labors” including the songwriters who came later. But theirs is not our story to tell. P-Funk is a musical phenomenon and will go down in history as such.
HOWEVER, IF history reflects the real truth, George Clinton will be rightfully condemned for grand theft, fraud and “black on black crime”. For those who say “she is tarnishing the P-Funk legacy”, I will tell you what I told George: “is the saying of it worse than the doing of it? If YOU stop doing it, George, I will stop talking about it”. He did NOT stop doing it and I will continue telling the truth. The person who tarnished the P-Funk legacy is George!!!
I can only speak for Bernie (with his permission) cause THAT is what I KNOW, for sure. I will now keep my promise to Bernie (as I always have) and “let it go, hon. After this, please just let it go”
So, in memory of the love of my life: ok, Bernie. The truth is now told. I am done, moving on, letting it go. (unless I need to testify at George’s trial ☺)
19 thoughts on “WOOniversal Truths — Part Three”
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Judie, thank you so much for maintaining this website as a tribute to the world’s most accomplished keyboard player. I am a relatively new P-funk fan but have been listening nonstop for a full year now. And what I’ve learned is, there was NO ONE more crucial to the P-funk sound over the years, than Bernie. Full stop. All the other stuff he did is just gravy on top of that. But he is literally THE most important musician EVER, in an entire sub-genre of music. I hope he was very proud of all he had done, although he seemed so much to embody the opposite: absolute humility.
As far as helping Bernie with his medical bills is concerned, I’m sadly too late. This year I purchased a few albums on bandcamp that I did not already own physical versions of, and I plan to buy a couple more. I hope it is helpful for you. I thought I would ask you as well, if you have the time to reach out to me by email about the possibility of purchasing CD versions of some of these more recent (post-2010) releases. I believe a lot of these albums were sold at shows, which makes me think you may still have a pile of them on hand. I’d be interested in anything you’ve got.
The only thing I have left is the Two part DVD — Layering Sounds, etc.. you can email me at email@example.com for info
Very sad and inescapable reality that GC is a thief and charlatan of the highest order I attended the Tribute to Bernie in NYC where GC came on stage and tried to take Bernie’s hat playfully,but Bernie wasn’t having that! I actually witnessed Michael “Kidd Funkadelic ” Hampton turn his back on George while he was playing! The Big Three (George, Bootsy,Bernie) were together for the 1st time since the 80s,but you could feel the tension. I knew then that the stories I heard of the ripoffs were true. Thank you for confirming them, Judie Worrell! Blessings on you and Bernie’s memory.
This breaks my heart. Bernie and the other Funkadelic and Parliament members and contributors over the years gave us SO MUCH. It breaks my heart the George’s greed ruined and continued to ruin the band and so many people’s financial stability that they were more than owed. I never could just buy into the excuse that “George was just partying too much and business slipped by…” when you have your original group all leave (Ray was coerced I to coming back because his voice was on Tear the Roof Off and it was a hit, the original Funkadelics (including Bernie) all left several times before leaving at the height of the band’s popularity (at that point). Glenn left, Jerome left, etc. l can appreciate pulling some street tricks to get over on “the man” but to do your own people (I mean “people” as in they have you everything they had creatively) that way and have people not getting paid while George and management are walking away with loads of cash every show?! The original al band never got the respect or financial credit they deserve. He should have taken better care of them. Even Bootsy left him in 1972 after he screwed him out of money and then came back after George lured him with the deal. I do believe that George was an incredible producer and brought out the best in people, but him becoming the “frontman” gave him all the credit first and then second. He set that standard. He says he only became the front person of Parliament because Neil Bogart wouldn’t get behind the group without a front person. He said he only trusted himself for it not to go to his head, as opposed to any of the others. It’s also sad to me that this fraud and deception continues. I knew Bernie was holding his tongue because I’ve watched clips where it came up and he could barely contain the hurt in his voice and face. It’s the closest I’ve ever seen of him to angry. Anyway, when the brain/wizard/genius behind hundreds of millions of dollars generated needs to hold benefits to fight his cancer then George you’re still fu@king up. You owe/owed those men and women better. God bless you Judy and R.I.P. Bernie. Thank you for being such a warrior for so many years to a man whose music means so much to us.
Back story: Bernie contacted George and left a message with his then current female. Purpose of call as to ask George for just some of the $$ he s tole from Bernie so Bernie could pay his medical bills, etc. George never answered that call and I asked the “then current” female if she’d given the message to George and she said “yes”. By the time we got to the Steven Colbert show, the love showed to Bernie by Steven AND the band was beautiful to see. Bernie ignored George and hi minions. The ONLY reason George was even there was because someone else (who I have to believe did NOT know what George had done to Bernie) wanted him there. We did NOT!!! We knew if George showed up, it would be for the publicity.
George is not and never has been an”Incredible producer”! Want to know how YOU can tell? Listen to the albums when Bernie was there (co-producing for which he was never paid nor credited by egomaniac, George). Then listen to the albums after Bernie left!!! I remember one time someone played a GC album (aftr Bernie left) and during one song, Bernie grabbed his head and said “can’t he hear that? it’s out of tune”!!! Bernie was the incredible producer — he brought all the musical education (from age 3 1/2 through Juilliard, to the New England Conservatory Majoring in Classical Piano. With that education, he brought his “perfect pitch”, which placed him in a position never equaled by George. This is one reason Bernie was so valuable in music production. One more reason George never wanted anyone to know who was the real genius behind those productions.
Thankyou Judie . It’s disheartening but the truth is the truth and let the truth be told! I never knew or saw someone misspell their own name , especially when signing an important document like a publishing agreement .
I heard the same from Junie Morrison about George fluffing his publishing splits .
I Respect you …it helps us all to face the hurtful truth about George because silence just teaches the p-funk off-shoot members that it’s ok to rip off songwriters. Go easy, go well- Kier
Thanks Mama Judy
there is a group called nappy dugout and i had to speak my mind about george clinton and i know people didnt like it,is it possible they can read this?,i dont know how to put this there,not a computer person!,but they need to know george isnt the stand up guy they think he is!
Maybe you can “copy n’ paste” it into something you can print out?
DAMN! IM TRUELY SORRY!!,I LOVED BERNIE!,IN NEWYORKCITYS BBKINGS I WALKED WITH BERNIE WALKING DOWN TO 8TH AVE AND HE WAS JUST CHILLIN!,I BELIVE IT WAS BOOTSY PLAYING!,AS I SAID ON BOOGIE MOSSON PAGE ON FACEBOOK!,I WAS A TEENAGER I WOULD WORK AND GET MY PFUNK TICKETS,HOTEL DEPENDING ON THE CITY!FOOD! KNOWING FULL WELL MY MOTHER WAS GOING TO KICK MY ASS!,I WOULD DO THAT FOR PFUNK THE ORIGINALS!,IVE BEEN GOING TO CONCERTS HERE IN NEWYORK THE PASS TEN OR MORE YEARS!,I THOUGHT I WAS SUPPORTING THE FUNK!,AND IVE BEEN SUPPORTED A FAKE!,AND IT PISSED ME OFF GEORGE SAYING HE MADE BERNIE! BULLSHIT!,BERNIE IS A PIONEER! HIS OWN! FUNKY MIND! GAVE PFUNK THE FLAVOR! AND FOR NOW ON! NO MORE! CONCERTS!,NO MORE CD,S NO MORE ANYTHING TO DO WITH GEORGE CLINTON! AND ALSO I WAS THERE IN BBKINGS! WHEN GEORGE HAD THE PRESS CONFRENCE!,AND HE WAS ASKING THE PUBLIC TO HELP HIM GWT 50,000 FOR LEGAL FEES TO GET THE RIGHTS TO PFUNKS MUSICS BACK BUT HE DIDNT LOOK OUT FOR GARY!,GLEN!,EDDIE! AND OTHERS, WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND!,THE LORD!! IS GOING TO TAKE CARE OF GEORGE!! AND THATS A FACT!!
Much respect to you. It is disheartening to read all of this and not feel a since of sadness. I have spent the majority of my life listening and being Funkadelic . I can only pray that full disclosure is achieved and all those involved are compensated. As a musician P-Funk is the Holy Grail and Bernie was one of the masters. I can’t imagine my life because of my love for music without the great musicians that have traveled through this funk.Once again much love and much respect Mrs. Worrell
Thank you for sharing this Judie. It was painful to read, but as you said, “truth is truth”. It is very sad and digusting what George did to deprive the band of the money that they earned from playing with P-Funk. Every band member should be financially comfortable, with the tremendous catalog that the band has put out. What a shame.
A shameful practice that you would have thought not to have. contaminated such a phenomenal group of musicians
Thank you for setting the record straight .Really hurts to know that someone whom i had so much respect and admiration for could do his partner like this rest in peace Bernie and thanks Judy for letting the world know how fucked up Dr Funkenstein really is GOD bless you and I pray you get all royalties and other money George stole from you .
BERNIE autographed several items for me. He spelled his name correctly on all of them. None look like that signature. Just sayin’
This was written very well. I am certain Bernie is smiling as he always lived in truth and love with his family .,,,,, I am honored …. The truth is out there. Greatly written
Everything isn’t sunshine and roses. for some to believe that trickery like this does not go on is completely ignorant. much respect.