Steely Dan Legal Fight Heats Up With Latest Move
Fagen and Becker's widow, Delia, are reportedly at odds over the status of a 1972 Buy/Sell agreement that stipulated that if a member of Steely Dan quit or died, the band would purchase all of that member's shares in the group.
"We believe the agreement to which Mr. Fagen refers in his suit - drafted 45 years ago - was not in effect at the time of Walter's death," a representative for Becker's estate said in a statement. "Mr. Fagen's lawsuit, riddled with half-truths and omissions, misleadingly fails to state that the day after Walter died, Mr. Fagen had his lawyer send a demand letter to Walter's estate, thus beginning a legal campaign against Walter's family immediately after his death.
"The misrepresentation that his widow, Ms. Cioffi initiated any litigious action is simply untrue. In our view, Mr. Fagen is unfairly trying to deprive Walter's family of the fruits of their joint labors."
"Since Walter's passing, we have endeavored to achieve a compromise with Mr. Fagen," continues the statement. "We were close to a resolution with his longtime counsel who he suddenly fired. We then negotiated in good faith with replacement counsel who Mr. Fagen also fired. Mr. Fagen's third and current lawyer did not even attempt to contact us prior to filing a lawsuit.
"While we regret Mr. Fagen's latest actions, we will vigorously defend against his unwarranted and frivolous case."
In his lawsuit, Fagen alleges that he received a letter from Becker's estate four days after the guitarist's death stating that the 1972 deal was "of no force or effect", that Delia be appointed a director or officer of Steely Dan, and that she was entitled to 50 percent ownership of the group. Read more here.
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