Ramones, Battle Between Heirs for Biopic

Johnny's widow, Linda Ramone, has filed a lawsuit against Joey's brother, Mickey Leigh, alleging that he has "secretly developed an unauthorized and unapproved biographical film about the Ramones."

he ongoing conflict between Johnny Ramone and Joey Ramone persists long after their deaths. Linda Ramone, the widow of Johnny, has initiated legal action against Joey’s brother, Mickey Leigh, regarding the Netflix biopic “I Slept With Joey Ramone.” (For the record: Joey had a romantic history with Linda before her marriage to Johnny, a factor that significantly impacted their personal relationships.)

The film, presently in the developmental stages featuring Pete Davidson portraying Joey, is adapted from Leigh’s memoir of the same title. In her lawsuit, Linda contends that Leigh has “covertly developed an unauthorized and unapproved biographical film about the Ramones,” relying on his “one-sided interpretation of the Ramones’ narrative,” as reported by Billboard.

Linda’s legal representatives also assert, “Ms. Ramone opposes the defendants’ efforts to produce a film about the Ramones without her involvement—not due to obstinacy, but rather because of the defendants’ disdain for the [Ramones’] resources and their treatment of Mrs. Ramone and her late husband. Allowing only the defendants to narrate the authoritative story of the Ramones would constitute an injustice to the band and its legacy.”

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In addition to Leigh, Linda is pursuing legal action against David Frey, a representative of Joey Ramone’s heirs. The lawsuit posits that the Netflix film will inadequately convey the “authoritative” Ramones story and predicts a lack of interest in a subsequent production. Linda and her legal team contend that this would obliterate the company’s most lucrative business opportunity, transferring it into the defendants’ possession.

Beyond his on-screen role, Davidson is actively involved in co-writing the screenplay. The film is under the direction of Jason Orley (known for Big Time Adolescent, I Want You Back). Notably, Netflix is not mentioned in Linda Ramone’s legal proceedings.

Linda Ramone and Mickey Leigh each possess a fifty percent stake in Ramones Productions, serving as the respective administrators of Johnny and Joey’s estates. They have found themselves embroiled in a series of legal disputes in the years following the demise of these two iconic figures in punk music.

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