The brother of Joey Ramone has filed a countersuit against the widow of Johnny Ramone, claiming her efforts to stop a Netflix film about the punk legends is “baseless and flimsy.”

In January, Linda Cummings-Ramone sued Joey’s brother Mitchel Hyman (better known as Mickey Leigh), claiming he “covertly” developed an “unauthorized” biopic on the Ramones. In her allegations, Cummings-Ramone asserted that any “authoritative story of the Ramones” would require her approval.

In a recently revealed response (filed on March 15), Hyman and his lawyers slammed Cummings-Ramone’s claims, while also insisting she already signed-off on a film several years ago.

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"Ms. Cummings-Ramone’s main purpose is to embarrass, harass, and destroy the integrity of Mr. Hyman, create an utterly false narrative about him, rewrite her role in the history of the Ramones, and win a popularity contest in which, in her mind, she takes over … the legacy of a band of which she never was a member and had nothing to do with creatively,” Hyman’s lawyers wrote (as reported by Billboard).

“She is driven by an alternate agenda, including her own fame and vanity, as well as a self-serving desire to obstruct projects and control RPI for reasons which conflict with her fiduciary duties and cause her to avoid any modicum of cooperation with Mr. Hyman,” the statement further declared.

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Hyman also argued that Cummings-Ramone already granted her approval to a film based on his book I Slept With Joey Ramone in 2006. He added that the planned movie focusses on his brother and is “not intended to be a 'Ramones movie' or a Ramones biopic.”

Details on the Joey Ramone Netflix Biopic

A film based on I Slept With Johnny Ramone was originally announced in April 2021, with former Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson cast in the title role. Jason Orley, who previously worked with Davidson on the film Big Time Adolescence, was announced as the director. Since then, however, little information has been shared about the project.

Hyman and Cummings-Ramone are the executors of Joey and Jonny's respective estates. They each own half of Ramones Productions, giving them control over the band’s music and assets. Their working relationship has been bumpy, as both sides have reportedly engaged in litigation against the other in the past. In 2018, Hyman sued Cummings-Ramone over her efforts to use the Ramones name on projects without approval, including a proposed “Ramones Ranch” in Los Angeles.

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Gallery Credit: Michael Gallucci

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