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Prima's Widow Sues Disney

Late swing-jazz singer Louis Primas widow, Gia Prima, has filed suit against the Walt Disney Company for unpaid royalties from video and DVD sales of THE JUNGLE BOOK, in which her husband voiced the character King Louie of the Apes. The Prima estate has received royalties on audio recordings of the soundtrack, however Disney contends the contract Prima signed was for audio recordings only and that Disney has "met all contractual obligations to Mr. Prima's estate." However, new technologies, like videocassettes and DVDS, were not invented when Prima signed the contract. This lawsuit is not the first brought up over new tech royalties in regard to THE JUNGLE BOOK. Phil Harris, who sang "Bear Necessities" as Baloo the Bear in JUNGLE BOOK, settled in confidential, out-of-court settlements. The new federal lawsuit, scheduled for trial October 31 seeks compensatory and punitive damages, an injunction, regular royalty statements and an accounting of the money Disney has made on JUNGLE BOOK videos and DVDs.

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Rick DeMott
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