Lynyrd Skynyrd Sue Artimus Pyle Over ‘Street Survivors’ Biopic
Lynyrd Skynyrd have filed a lawsuit against their former drummer, Artimus Pyle, in relation to his upcoming biopic, Street Survivors: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash. The band says that Pyle's film may violate a consent order and be inaccurate.
According to Rolling Stone, which has obtained a copy of the lawsuit, Gary Rossington, Johnny Van Zant and the estates of other Lynyrd Skynyrd members who were killed in the Oct. 20, 1977, plane crash filed their lawsuit against Pyle and the film's co-producer, Cleopatra Records, on Friday (June 16), in Manhattan. The litigation states that Pyle "is free to exploit his own personal life story," but that the biopic could violate a consent order, agreed to in 1988 by Pyle and other Skynyrd members.
"No such exploitation of life story rights is authorized which purports to be a history of the 'Lynyrd Skynyrd' band, as opposed to the life story of the applicable individual," the consent order states.
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Additionally, the lawsuit claims that Pyle's Street Survivors biopic "may contain a potentially inaccurate or skewed portrayal of Lynyrd Skynyrd's story as filtered solely through the eyes of Pyle masquerading as the True Story of a defining moment in the band's history." The biopic previously required a name change, as its original title, Free Bird, prompted a cease-and-desist notice.
The litigation also notes that since Pyle left Lynyrd Skynyrd in August of 1991, he has had "numerous run-ins with the law" -- including pleading guilty "to charges of attempted capital sexual battery and to lewdly fondling, assaulting or simulating sexual acts on two female children, ages 4 and 8." Lynyrd Skynyrd's lawsuit vs. Pyle is scheduled to be heard in court on July 11.
Street Survivors is currently in production. Filming began in April.
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