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Olivia Newton John to Universal -- Grease Me!

12/6/2006 7:37 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Olivia Newton-JohnOlivia Newton John claims the people behind the "Grease" soundtrack intentionally screwed her out of more than $1 million in royalties. Now she's asking a judge to force Universal Music Group to fork over the dough!

In court documents obtained by TMZ, the "world-famous recording artist" claims Universal "refused to pay more than $1 million" and has "offered no justification for its failure to do so," even after Olivia claims she provided them with specific proof of the shortfall. John also claims that Universal has invaded her right to privacy by using her "name, likeness and personality" to sell the "Grease" soundtrack.
Olivia Newton John
The album, which features a picture of ON-J on the cover, includes hits like "Summer Nights" and "You're The One That I Want."

In addition to the million clams, the Aussie thrush is seeking punitive damages. Ka-ching --chang changitty chang shoobop.

16 COMMENTS

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1.

???    

Go get em Olivia! Those bitches don't own rights to your voice. "Don't start nothin, there won"t be nothin" You Go Girl!

2848 days ago
2.

DD    

She deserves EVERY penny--- and more!
I heard that artists who contributed songs to movies, were not paid very well back in 70s. I'm sure they probably owe her more than that!

2848 days ago
3.

Hollywood Snark    

Urgh - judging by that pic she needs the extra cash right now since no one's gonna pay to put that mug on a poster!

2848 days ago
4.

We, are not amused.    

Standard recording industry practice: always screw the talent and when they complain have your shills (TMZ) try and make you look like your money grubbing. I hope she gets every nickle that they owe her.

2848 days ago
5.

Liv    

This is exactly what the band Hanson are talking about in their documentary titled 'Strong Enough to Break', - record companies ripping off Artists. Good on Olivia for taking them for the money, she's the talent and they should pay up!

2848 days ago
6.

Angie    

You go Olivia! ONJ was Grease to me. I've seen her in 2003, 2004, and 2006. Truely one of the greatest voices in recording history. Hopelessly Devoted.

2848 days ago
7.

Wolfer    

Man, I had a crush on her since I was 5 and she still looks great. She does deserve more for that movie...and I would still show her a good time.

2848 days ago
8.

Russell    

so Livvy is taking Universal to court, talk about flogging a one trick pony, a no talent shill trying to get another $ or 2 out of her one moment in the spotlight.
she should spend her time more gainfully looking for her ex- (dissappearing)
partner or maybe paying off his debts, surely she coud find some work in the
Valley or let her know that McD's is hiring.

2848 days ago
9.

James    

i think it's so funny how tmz gets a hold of these documents. wow. this is very confidential legal stuff.

i am on olivia's side. she should at least be getting 5 million if she wins this.

the time was 1978 when the cd was released. ever since, universal has used her likeness to try and sell the soundtrack.

2848 days ago
10.

Jim    

The media loves to knock 'em down when they are up! Olivia has this phenomenal new CD out and is finally getting the critical acclaim she deserves and there are more headlines about this stupid lawsuit?!

Grease never would have been as successful without her, and if John Travolta gets money for it, so should Olivia. Period.

2847 days ago
11.

Standards are badly needed.    

#9 Russell, if this happened to you, you would understand that it's a matter of principle. I guess you view it that way because, well, that's how YOU think.
Which tells us a lot about you. Fortunately, Olivia Newton-John is an entirely different kind of person. She actually showed their accountants the shortfall, and the amoral hyenas and jackals chose not to act anyway. So should they owe her the money according to the original agreement, and they have kept proceeds that belong to her, I hope she gets quite a little bit extra for the intentional withholding, plus legal fees. Plus I hope every other artist who had similar agreements with these people in that time frame re-examine their financial proceeds. A deal is a deal. It's not O.K. for everybody to act like Enron. Going to court on matters such as these is important. Olivia has the right, and has exercised it.

2846 days ago
12.

Reid Taylor    

Olivia is not an avaricious individual and hates to spark controversy, but considering that "Grease" is one of the most popular albums in existence and a HUGE money-maker for Universal, it's pretty easy to understand why she wouldn't want them making millions of dollars off her name without proper compensation. I support her completely in this motion and hope Universal finds a way to atone for being so cheap and dishonest, aside from just paying back the money owed.

2828 days ago
13.

DAVE    

She's still very perty and I'd bet she would still look HOT in that skin tight black outfit!

2801 days ago
14.

Jason Dottley    

Olivia is a friend of mine. I'm even starring in the series version of "Sordid Lives", an indie she did with Del Shores. First of all, Olivia is not hurting for money. She lives in a fantastic mansion in Malibu - part of the time, she has a home in Australia, she tours the world constantly AND she's beyond fair and sweet. She is Sandra D. Trust me, if she's suing Universal, they have done her wrong and she deserves every penny.

I'm glad to see that most of you were supportive. I'm a bit curious who the nasty poster was who referred to her by the nickname reserved for close aquaintances. Hmmm....

Rock on Livvy!

2800 days ago
15.

Emily     

Go livy , she deservs that money after all shes done for grease , shes is an amzing person , don't let anyone trample over OLIVIA!

1444 days ago
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