Barrett facing £2M bill after 'abuse of process.'

Aston "Familyman" Barrett, longtime bassist with Bob Marley and the Wailers, today (May 15) lost his estimated £60 million ($113 million) High Court claim over the band's royalties.

Barrett -- a father-of-52 who is now in his 60s -- had sued Universal Island Records Ltd and the Marley family claiming that both he and the estate of his late brother, drummer Carlton Barrett, had not been paid years' worth of royalties due to them under two recording agreements made in the 1970s.

However, judge Mr Justice Kim Lewison backed the defendants, who had argued that Barrett surrendered his right to further royalties in a 1994 agreement which they claimed had settled all legal differences between the parties.

The judge said it was an "abuse of process" for Barrett to bring this further claim following the earlier settlement agreement, from which he received $500,000.

The ruling leaves Barrett facing having to pay the lion's share of an estimated £2 million ($3.7 million) in total legal costs.

In a statement, the Marley family said they were "delighted" that the "hurtful and extremely expensive" claim had been rejected.

"We always felt that this would be the outcome, and it was hard to listen to Aston Barrett reduce his friend Bob to someone who was more interested in playing football than making music. It is good to see our position vindicated," the family said.

"The Wailers were very well paid by Bob during his lifetime and the judge accepted that, over the years, Rita Marley has tried to do her best both for the Wailers and for Bob's family."

Barrett had argued that he and his brother, together with other members of the Wailers at various times, entered into partnerships with Bob Marley on the basis that profits would be shared equally between Marley, on the one hand, and the remaining partners on the other.

He claimed that Marley entered into recording agreements as their agent in 1974 and 1975 and they were party to those agreements. He argued that Island and the Marley family had failed to account to them for any share of the royalties due on the albums made under those agreements: "Natty Dread," "Live!,"
"Rastaman Vibration," "Exodus," "Kaya," "Babylon by Bus," "Survival," "Uprising," and "Confrontation."

Barrett, who still tours with other original members under the Wailers banner, also sought further payments in respect of six of the band's songs that he claimed were written either by him or his brother.

"Now that the action is over, the family want to concentrate on keeping Bob's legacy alive and to introduce new generations to his music," said Marley's family.