Woman accusing Ed Sheeran of ripping off Marvin Gaye’s iconic Let’s Get it On is stretchered out of court after collapsing during day three of New York trial
- Kathryn Townsend Griffin is suing Ed Sheeran for allegedly copying elements of Marvin Gaye’s 1973 hit Let’s Get it On, co-written with her father, Ed Townsend
- The trial was interrupted on Wednesday afternoon when the plaintiff collapsed
There was drama during musician Ed Sheeran’s copyright trial at Manhattan Federal Court in New York on Wednesday that threw the proceedings into chaos.
Kathryn Townsend Griffin, who is among the heirs of songwriter Ed Townsend suing Ed Sheeran for allegedly ripping off parts of 1973 soul classic Let’s Get it On, fell suddenly while trying to leave the courtroom yesterday, the third day of the trial.
She was helped up by several people who worked to lift her arms and legs but ultimately had to be stretchered out of court after receiving medical attention.
Townsend Griffin claims Ed Sheeran’s 2014 hit Thinking Out Loud bears ‘striking similarities’ to the song co-authored by her father and Marvin Gaye.
Kathryn Townsend Griffin (pictured centre) collapsed in court on Wednesday afternoon
A stretcher was brought in to assist with the medical situation following her collapse
Sheeran leaves Manhattan Federal Court on the second day of his copyright infringement trial
Her lawyers did not disclose the reason for Townsend Griffin fainting but said that she has a pre-existing medical condition.
Ed Sheeran’s lawsuits
Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is one of the best-selling artists of all time and is worth around $200 million.
The pop singer has also faced a number of lawsuits alleging copyright issues.
In 2016, he was sued by songwriters Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard for $20million. They said his single Photograph copied elements of their song, Amazing.
In 2017, the heirs of Ed Townsend filed the Let’s Get it On case. The case was dismissed without prejudice.
A year later, the estate filed a new lawsuit. Despite Sheeran’s attempts to have it dismissed again, it has gone ahead.
Last year, Sheeran won a copyright battle at the High Court in London over his 2017 song Shape Of You.
Sheeran had been sued by musician Sami Chokri over the similarities in a refrain in the song.
Mr Chokri claimed the phrase ‘Oh I’ in Sheeran’s song was ‘strikingly similar’ to the ‘Oh Why’ hook in his track.
Shape Of You was the UK’s best-selling song of 2017 in the UK.
They said that she had been taken to hospital.
The incident caused a seven-minute delay before Judge Louis Stanton ordered the proceedings to continue.
During music expert Alexander Stewart’s testimony, he outlined the similarities between the two hit songs noting how they ‘have the same harmonic rhythm’ while pointing out melodic similarities in the verse, chorus, and interlude.
A computer generated version of Let’s Get it On was played in court during Stewart’s testimony, which took up all of Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Sheeran took the stand to deny all wrongdoing.
Lawyer Ben Crump showed a video of the star performing a mash-up of both songs on stage, which he said amounted to a ‘confession’.
‘We have a smoking gun,’ he said, and added that the case was about ‘giving credit where credit is due.’
Sheeran told the jury that he would have been ‘quite an idiot to stand on a stage in front of 20,000 people and do that’.
He argued that it was ‘quite simple to weave in and out of songs’ that are in the same key, and that many pop songs share the same chord progressions.
‘You could go from ‘Let it Be’ to ‘No Woman, No Cry’ and switch back,’ Sheeran testified, referring to the Beatles and Bob Marley classics.
Sheeran – who is worth a staggering $200million – said that he composed Thinking Out Loud with co-writer Amy Wadge in a collaborative writing session inspired by his grandparents’ romance.
The trial is expected to last about a week.
Sheeran’s label Atlantic Records and Sony/ATV Music Publishing are also named as defendants in the lawsuit.
Ed Sheeran arrives at Manhattan federal court in New York, Wednesday, 26 April, 2023
Sheeran is accused of ripping off Marvin Gaye’s 1973 soul classic Let’s Get it On
The heirs of Ed Townsend, Gaye’s co-writer on the 1973 classic, have sued Sheeran, alleging ‘striking similarities’ and ‘overt common elements’ between the 2014 track and the Motown hit
‘Let’s Get It On’ has been heard in countless films and commercials and garnered hundreds of millions of streams, spins and radio plays since it came out in 1973.
Townsend, who also wrote the 1958 R&B doo-wop hit ‘For Your Love,’ was a singer, songwriter and lawyer. He died in 2003.
‘Thinking Out Loud’ won a Grammy for Song of the Year in 2016.
Ed Sheeran has sold more than 150million records worldwide, winning Song of the Year in 2016 for Thinking Out Loud, five Brit awards in the United Kingdom and six Billboard Music Awards.