Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s Widow Sues Wu-Tang Clan For $1 Million In Unpaid Royalties

Ol’ Dirty Bastard

Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s Widow Sues Wu-Tang Clan For $1 Million In Unpaid Royalties

It looks like there’s some drama brewing for the members of Wu-Tang Clan.

According to reports, Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s widow, Icelene Jones, is suing Wu-Tang Clan over unpaid royalties. Ol’ Dirty Bastard, born Russell Jones, was one of the founding members of the well-known hip-hop group, Wu-Tang Clan. He, unfortunately, died at the age of 35 in 2004 due to a reported accidental drug overdose.


Jones, the administrator of Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s estate, recently filed a lawsuit in New York Supreme Court against Wu-Tang Productions, Inc., claiming that her late husband is owed at least $1 million in unpaid royalties.

Reportedly, the suit cites a recording contract from 1992 that states ODB, Ghostface Killah, born Dennis Coles, Raekwon, born Corey Woods, and GZA, born Gary Grice, were all supposed to receive 50 percent of royalties from Wu-Tang’s catalog. The lawsuit adds that ODB is supposed to get 50 percent of net royalties from the exploitation of his image or likeness, according to reports. However, according to the lawsuit, the contract has been breached. The suit states,

“despite its repeated efforts and requests, the estate has been unable to obtain payments and accountings from the defendant under the recording agreement for the sale of Wu-Tang Clan Recordings and ODB recordings since at least 2011.”

According to the court documents, ODB’s estate did receive a check for $130,000 in July 2021 and payments in 2019 and 2020 from Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp., however, those,

“represent only a small percentage of amounts payable to the estate under the recording agreement.”


In a recent interview, RZA, born Robert Diggs, who runs Wu-Tang’s production company, spoke about the lawsuit and said,

“We have been very supportive in providing economically to the family through the estate and to his wife and children on record and off record. ODB’s potential share of those records are minimal, are dismal, but nevertheless after those products are recouped his prorated portion belongs to him.”


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Authored by: Twila-Amoure McDaniel