Sex Pistols Johnny Rotten threatens legal action over TV series about band made without him – Sky News

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John Lydon – the man behind Johnny Rotten – is threatening to take legal action against a TV series being made about the Sex Pistols.

In an interview with The Sunday Times Magazine, the musician, 65, claimed that the production was being done without his consultation.

The six-part series is called Pistol, and is being directed by Danny Boyle – the man behind Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, and Slumdog Millionaire.

The Sex Pistols in 1977, with Lyndon far left. File pic
Image:
The Sex Pistols in 1977, with Lydon far left. File pic

It is based on the autobiography of the Sex Pistols’ guitarist Steve Jones, and is due to air on the Disney-owned US network FX on Hulu in 2022.

Speaking of his exclusion from the process, Lydon said: “If you put me in a corner like a rat, I’m going to go for your throat. I’m up against here some corporations that just want to take over.”

He added: “Poor old Johnny Rotten is the victim of Mickey Mouse.”

Lydon claims the script for the series was written without his consent. The punk icon said the actor cast to play him – Anson Boon – was also chosen lacking his agreement.

Lydon said: “Sorry, you think you can do this, like walk all over me – it isn’t going to happen. Not without a huge, enormous f****** fight.

“I’m Johnny, you know, and when you interfere with my business you’re going to get the bitter end of my business as a result. It’s a disgrace. I fronted this band.

“I’m the man that wrote the words. I supplied the image and direction, and I think the questions hang on their actions here. If they needed to be this secret squirrel about it then they must have something to hide.”

From left to right, Glen Matlock, Johnny Rotten, Paul Cook and Steve Jones perform as the Sex Pistols in 2007
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From left to right, Glen Matlock, Johnny Rotten, Paul Cook and Steve Jones perform as the Sex Pistols in 2007

A spokesman from the production told The Sunday Times Magazine that the intention had always been to communicate with Lydon ahead of filming, and that Boyle had written to him through his management company.

Boyle “wished to speak with Mr Lydon personally about the production of Pistol…. Ultimately, however, direct contact was declined,” the spokesman said.

Lydon also spoke in the interview about how he had become the full-time carer for his long-term partner Nora Forster, 78, as she suffers with Alzheimer’s disease.

He said: “Alzheimer’s is a wicked, debilitating, slow, deliberate process, but we’re going through that together. She doesn’t forget me. She forgets everything else but not me.”

Johnny Rotten with is partner Nora, who is suffering with Alzheimer's. File pice
Image:
Johnny Rotten with his partner Nora, who is suffering with Alzheimer’s. File pic

He added: “I know it’s going to deteriorate into something really, really terrible, but we’re facing it with a sense of dignity.

“I mean, it would be easy enough to run away and say, ‘Oh, it’s not my responsibility; things aren’t the same’. Bollocks to that. I’m John.

“When I make a commitment it’s forever and I stand by that and I’m very proud to do the best I can for her.

“We’ve been together now 45 years; we’re not going to change anything. You know, what’s an illness between true friends, man and wife, lovers, whatever you want to call it?

“We are a proper pair of people who love and adore each other.”

 

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