The man behind the legendary Motown Records, Berry Gordy, filed a $10 million lawsuit earlier this week over a fictitious film that depicts the record executive orchestrating a hit to kill a rival.
As the founder of Motown Records, Gordy has played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of popular music. He launched the groundbreaking label in 1959 in Detroit.
Gordy helped mastermind the famed “Motown sound,” which blends traditional Black harmony, gospel music and R&B.
Gordy and Motown Records launched the careers of numerous legendary artists, from The Supremes to Smokey Robinson to The Jackson 5 and Michael Jackson, among numerous others.
The 93-year-old Gordy is suing Timothy Bogart, the son of late music exec Neil Bogart, Hero Entertainment, and Universal City Entertainment Group over a 2023 film called “Spinning Gold,” according to court filings obtained by RadarOnline.com.
According to Gordy, one scene of “Spinning Gold,” which focuses on the inner workings of Neil Bogart’s record label Casablanca Records, had him “putting a hit out” on Bogart “purportedly because Casablanca Records lured the Isley Brothers and Gladys Knight away from Motown to join the anemic roster of artists at Casablanca.”
Gordy contends this never happened and denounced the film’s false narratives and defamatory fiction.
“None of this is true and [Gordy] is not, and has never, associated with criminals or criminal behavior, and there certainly was never any solicitation of murder by, or, on the part of, [Gordy],” the suit reads.
He claims the film, although fiction, portrays him as a thug and mobster who planned a murder for hire. This narrative, Gordy says, was written to tarnish his reputation.
Gordy says Timothy has said about the film, “Every bit of it is true, even the parts that aren’t.”
Gordy’s lawsuit accuses the defendants of defamation, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress; through the lawsuit, he is seeking more than $10 million.
“The negative portrayals of [Gordy] and the insertion of the scene concerning Plaintiff “putting out a hit” is a vile, reckless and baseless character assassination in the desperate attempt to create drama where non exists in a lackluster Picture. This wrongful and illegal content in the Picture has caused severe damage to [Gordy] and to [Gordy’s reputation,” the suit reads.
The film was released earlier this year by Universal City Entertainment Group.