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Earth, Wind & Fire Founder

I Did NOT Screw Over

My Dead Friend

8/19/2012 1:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0819_Maurice-White_getty2
The creator of Earth, Wind & Fire is ADAMANT ... he did not bilk his late-friend out of THOUSANDS in music royalties, despite what the children of his estate claim.

As TMZ first reported, Maurice White was sued by the estate of late music producer Charles Stepney, who died in 1976. The estate claimed EWF and Sony music failed to fork over any royalty payments for the last four decades ... all based on an alleged oral agreement Stepney had with White.

White has now fired back in court docs and is claiming there WAS NO oral agreement and he doesn't owe Stepney or his estate squat. White says EWF already paid Stepney in full for his services waaaaay back when he worked for them and never agreed to shell out for royalties.

White also claims that Stepney's estate (comprised of his children) has no right to sue over some alleged oral agreement that neither Stepney himself nor Stepney's late wife ever chose to sue over.

White is asking the lawsuit be dismissed entirely.

A judge has yet to rule.

52 COMMENTS

No Avatar
1.

Stiletto    

Not very "white" of you Maurice!

708 days ago
2.

EDUB    

This is not a photo of Maurice White.

708 days ago
3.

get a life ho    

sorry kids .,.,,no cigar !

708 days ago
4.

RHagans    

That is not a photo of Maurice White. That is Ralph Johnson, a vocalist and percussionist for EWF. Also, White was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in the late 1980s, so by now I would doubt that he has the ability to do any of what is claimed against him in this article.

708 days ago
5.

voiceofreason    

Who is the guy in the picture? Not Maurice White. It does not look like any member of EWF. TMZ still thinks all black people look alike obviously!

708 days ago
6.

Jami    

NOT MAURICE WHITE!!! THAT IS RALPH JOHNSON!!! I THOUGHT YOU GUYS WERE SMARTER THAN THAT!!!

708 days ago
7.

Jane    

sounds like some kids trying to get over. don't pay them a cent!

and tmz is as bad as media take out! always posting wrong person or misspelling words!

708 days ago
8.

devilgirl    

TMZ gets it wrong again. That isn't M. White. Snap out of your brain dead comas!

708 days ago
9.

TMZluver    

Why not add a picture that's related to the story? This is not the founder Maurice White, but rather one of the original band members Ralph Johnson (drummer).

708 days ago
10.

verlinda    

I thought Maurice White died?????

708 days ago
11.

dd    

DISMISS!

708 days ago
12.

dd    

NOW THAT'S MAURICE!

708 days ago
13.

WHAT IN THE WORLD    

The image is of Ralph Johnson of Earth, Wind and Fire. Drums, percussion, and vocals. Get your facts and pictures straight, TMZ!

708 days ago
14.

WHAT IN THE WORLD    

Oh, NOW they've posted Maurice White's picture. Way to go, TMZ! NOT!!!

708 days ago
15.

RHagans    

No, Maurice White is still alive, however, like I said, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in the late 1980s.

708 days ago
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