The estate of George “Bernie” Worrell Jr. has reportedly filed a lawsuit against chief architect of funk George Clinton and his Thang Inc. imprint. According to The Blast, the 77-year-old music legend stands accused of getting members of Parliament and Funkadelic hooked on drugs.
Worrell, who was an ex-bandmate of Clinton’s and passed away in 2016, co-wrote the majority of Clinton’s songs from the ’70s and ’80s, including when he was with both iconic funk outfits.
Worrell’s widow claims Clinton and her husband had a royalty deal stretching back to 1976. She also cites a document that alleges Clinton supplied his band with drugs and then deducted the cost from their pay. He would allegedly walk around and offer bumps of cocaine from his long fingernail.
“Clinton has a history of fraud, deceit, and delinquency when it comes to the performance of contracts that he has entered into on behalf of himself or his companies,” she explains. “Apparently, Clinton did this [deducting money] despite many band members not wanting drugs and needing money to provide for their families.
“Drug use was encouraged and pushed by Clinton. Another band member Grady Thomas recounts how, “[Clinton] had a long fingernail. And he would go around and…, ‘Hey man, here. Have some.’”
The document also reportedly states Clinton used his role as “drug supplier” as a way of “controlling the band members and justifying retaining the majority of money received from both royalties and live performances.”
Worrell’s widow says Clinton’s drug culture led to addiction for many of his band members who ultimately had to seek treatment.
“Members of the band members never recovered and drug addiction cost them their lives,” she says. “Clinton manipulated the band members with drugs and promises which were never kept.”
As a result, the estate is suing for an unspecified amount of damages.
Clinton got clean from hard drugs several years ago but explained in an interview with HipHopDX that he regularly uses medical marijuana.
“Most of the legal shit out there they got people hooked on is crazy,” he told DX last May. “The meds they give you now; everybody’s on them now — my doctor looked at me like, ‘I can’t make no money off of you’ because I don’t take no meds. I did all my meds beforehand. I don’t need to do no more [laughs].
“They got so many meds, you go in for a toothache, you leave with an addiction for the next 20 years. They give you enough samples to hook the whole family. You can’t tell me they don’t know what they’re doing. It’s just legalized. They’re legalized dope dealers. I got my medical marijuana. That’s all I need.”
Clinton is currently on his final tour.