Yoko Ono has categorically denied that she is suing the rock musician Lennon Murphy for simply using the name of her late husband John.
A statement released by Ono’s label Parlophone says that Lennon Murphy approached the 74-year-old several years ago to seek permission for using the name, which Ono granted without hesitation.
However, it goes on to say that without Ono’s knowledge, Murphy made an application to the United States trademark office ‘requesting the exclusive right to utilize the name Lennon for musical performances.’
According to the release, Ono’s representatives asked for this registration of exclusivity to be removed, but apparently Lennon Murphy went on to apply for the trademark regardless.
The statement concludes: ‘Yoko did not sue Lennon Murphy, but sought to stop her from getting the exclusive right to the name Lennon for performance purposes. For that, Yoko's attorneys, simply notified the Trademark office that Yoko did not believe it was fair that Ms. Murphy be granted the exclusive right to the "Lennon" trademark in relation to musical and entertainment services.’
Ono herself has commented: “I am really hurt if people thought that I told a young artist to not use her own name in her performances and had sought to sue her. I did no such thing. I hope this allegation will be cleared.”
As reported on Tuesday, Lennon Murphy claims that the situation is otherwise and released an impassioned statement against Yoko Ono.
The open letter read: “I'm not sure what confusion I could be causing since I don't have the $50,000 to hire a lawyer and fight this. If people were confusing me with John Lennon and accidentally buying my records I should have more than enough money to live my life and hire a lawyer?
“Lennon is my first name by birth and I am regularly asked if I was named after the Beatle, having always replied no. My mother named me after "John Lennon that wrote songs, painted, and baked bread with his son". She named me for the man, not the pop star.”