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John Lydon (A.K.A. Johnny Rotten) on Judge Judy. What the fuck?

(Transcript after the jump.)

{Audience is standing in the courtroom. Robert Williams stands at the plaintiff’s table and John Lydon stands at the defendant’s table. Camera zooms in on Judge Judy Scheindlin, seated at the bench.}

Byrd the Bailiff: [Handing file to Judge Judy] Your Honor, this is case number 260 on the calendar in the matter of Williams vs. Lydon. The parties have been sworn in, Judge. {To courtroom} You may be seated. Have a seat, have a seat.

Judge Judy: Mr. Williams, according to your complaint, sir, you were hired by the defendant as a drummer in his band.

Robert Williams: That’s correct.

JJ: And the band was going on tour.

Williams: That’s right.

JJ: Your complaint states that he breached your contract by firing you prior to the tour, that he owes you a substantial amount of money for that, and then in addition, he assaulted you and as a result of that you had substantial medical bills

Williams: Uh, that’s right your honor. In March, uh, ‘ 97 I was hired by Mr. Lydon, I went to his house. He had, uh, invited me over to hear his CD, to listen to it, and after we had talked, he had hired me, and, uh, I began, uh, working on his music at my house. About a month later-

John Lydon: Actually it was in May, May, it was in May {crosstalk}

JJ: Shh, shh , Mr. Lydon, Mr. Lydon. [Bangs gavel] Listen to me sir; I’m going to give you an opportunity to tell me your side of the story, all right-

Lydon: Fine

JJ: Right now, the plaintiff is trying to present his case, and I’d like you to let him do that in an orderly fashion. {To Williams} Go ahead.

Williams: I was hired in March, I started working on the music in April after he’d given me a copy of his CD, and, uh, and brought it to my house and started working on it.

JJ: There’s no question, sir, that you worked, and I believe that Mr. Lydon acknowledges that you worked.

Lydon: Certainly

JJ: You were working rehearsals, participated fully with the project. It’s his defense to this action that a) you were impossible to work with because you were a prima donna, that you, uh, violated several verbal agreements that you had with him, and that in fact, he didn’t really fire you, but you quit.

Williams: That I wanted to have our contract in writing, because a guitar player who worked for him 10 years ago had done a US tour for him and hadn’t gotten paid for it when he had gotten back from the tour.

Lydon [making WTF face, gestures with right arm at Williams]: Proof, please? I’d like proof of that!

JJ: Just a second, please. Shh, shh, Mr Lydon. Shhhhh. [Makes finger-to-lip shushing gesture at Lydon]

Williams: Well, actually, when I had brought that up to a-

JJ: Listen to me.

Williams: Yes ma’am.

JJ: You cannot bring in through the back door of a trial, hearsay. If you have-

Williams: Oh, I, I’m not using this as evidence your honor I’m only using this as a reason-

JJ: Good, then if you’re not –

Lydon: Uh, duhhh. {Cupping hand to ear} Excuse me?

JJ: If you’re not using this as evidence- Mr. Lydon! If you can’t behave, sir, [Lydon bows head] I’m gonna show you the door, so you have to be quiet-

Lydon: I’ll be very quiet, I promise, until it is my turn.

JJ: Good. {To Williams} Let me see a copy of your fax, sir, that you sent.


JJ: How many musicians were there in the band?

Williams: There were just two other musicians. Now he had said to me-

JJ: Just a second-

Lydon: Three {hold up three fingers}, excluding me.{ points thumb at self}

JJ: {To Lydon} Well, let’s exclude you for a moment, because you weren’t complaining about your accommodations, right?

Lydon: {Arms crossed, shakes head}I’m not.

Williams: Now he said, “If I give you your own hotel room, Robert, I’ll have to give it to them” and I said it would be the only humane thing to do, because after each of these shows we were to get on the bus and travel for seven or eight hours, and the band was gonna be in such tight quarters for six weeks to eight weeks, you could go mad just not having your own-

[Lydon leans forward and props his elbows on the table in front of him, rests chin in his hands]


[Lydon is loudly blowing his nose into what looks like a dish towel]

Williams: -and I said, come on now, you know, I’m willing to forgive and forget, you know, I don’t want to be working for four months for this guy-

[Camera cuts to Lydon, snickering into dishtowel/handkerchief and looking over his shoulder. Camera cuts behind him to tour managers who are grinning back at him.]
Williams: And then go, you know, and then three days before my salary triples and I go out on the road to be able to showcase my drumming abilities, I get fired. I said, it’s not fair.

[Cut to ‘Judge Judy’ logo]

JJ:{to Lydon} You evidently were taken with his abilities as a drummer, correct?

Lydon: Yes.

JJ: And you hired him?

Lydon: Yes, a deal he agreed to financially, right from the start, the second he accepted the first check. In fact, in his fax {picks up paper}, the last line of it says “Hopefully this meets with your approval as it will be necessary for me to do this tour if…” If! If!

Williams: That’s right-

[Judge Judy holds up her hand, gesturing for Williams to be silent]

Lydon: If! If! {points emphatically at paper} Well, it wouldn’t. I don’t change deals once I’ve struck them. He changed-

Williams: Neither d-

JJ: {To Williams} Listen to me! You have to be quiet now.

Williams: Yes ma’am.

JJ: He was quiet.

Williams: Okay.

Lydon: He changed his mind, and he walked out on me that night. That left me lumbered with a lack of a drummer and a tour about to start. And this whole hotel stuff he’s coming up with {waves hands at Williams}, you must understand, these are small nightclubs gigs, and we’re traveling vast journeys on a tour bus. We’re not staying overnight in most of the towns.

JJ: Now, Mr. Lydon, I don’t have a-

Lydon: There’s no point in me wasting money on separate individual hotel rooms-

JJ: I don’t have a problem-

Lydon: When I perfectly am able to share-

JJ: Mr. Lydon!

Lydon: And I’m apparently the pop star, yet he {points at Williams}-

[Audience chuckles]

JJ: Mr. Lydon, shh. Do me a favor: don’t talk over me. I’m not arguing with you with regard to the hotel room.

Lydon: Right, fine.

JJ: I don’t believe tha-

Lydon: Where’s the assault?

JJ: Shh! I don’t believe that you have any responsibility to provide him with an independent hotel room. And Mr. Willaims, quite frankly, sir-

Williams: Yes ma’am.

JJ: I think it’s poor form to say to your boss “You’ve got a nice room”- which is really what you said to him- “You got a nice room, you’re sitting in a nice perch, and you’re watching all of us, uh, plebeians, right, living like sardines in a can.” Which is pretty much what you said to him, right?

Williams: Right.


JJ: To the assault. Mr. Lydon, I would like you to tell me your version of the assault, sir.

Lydon: No assault. Absolute nonsense. The only bodily contact that there was of any kind at all was when I came back from the toilet. Our table was against the wall, my seat was in the furthest corner, he was sitting opposite, to get by him, had that much room {holds hands about a foot apart}. He got up, his head hit my chin. If anyone should do anyone for assault, it should be me to him.

Williams [Bursting into laughter]:Oh, that’s-

Lydon: That’s it! But I’m not petty and stupid and I would never-

JJ: So what happened? Mr. Lydon. All right, you came-

Williams: Mr. Liar.

JJ: Shh! Hey. {slams hand on desk, gives Williams warning glare}

Lydon{to Williams}: Prove that.

JJ: Ju- listen, hey! Am I in-?

Williams: [holds up folder]I’ve got-

JJ: Just a second! I’m in charge of this asylum. Let’s not forget that.

Williams: That’s right, your honor.

[Audience chuckles]

JJ: Good! You had his meeting, I gather, to try to iron things out.

Lydon: That’s right.

JJ: Had you said anything to him such as “I think it’s best that we split up”, “I think it’s best that you don’t come on the tour”?

Lydon: No, no.

JJ: So, then you came back.

Lydon: That would be “You’re not going to be, what part of ‘no’ don’t you understand?” “Then I won’t do it.” Up he gets, off he goes.

JJ: So you said to him-

Williams: That’s not true.

JJ: So you said to him, “What part of-

Lydon{To Williams}: Well, actually, if it’s not true, how come everybody else there says it is?

JJ: [Bangs gavel] Mr. Lydon.

Williams{To Lydon}: Because they’re your employees.

Lydon{To Williams}: So were you at the time.

Byrd: Gentlemen, talk to the judge, please.

Williams: Yes.

JJ: Thank you, Byrd.

Byrd: You’re welcome, ma’am.

[Audience chuckles]

Lydon: Sorry, Byrd.

Williams: Your Honor, may I-

JJ: Juh-!

Williams: I, I would like to submit some evidence, police, police report and medical reports.

JJ: I, I will look at it sir.
Williams: Okay.

JJ: Just a second. Byrd, would you get me that, would you get me those reports? If you talk to each other again I’m gonna throw you out of here. Do you understand? And it inures to your benefit, sir-

Williams: Yes ma’am.

JJ: -not to do that-

Williams: That’s right.

JJ: - because if I throw you out, you don’t have a chance.

Williams: That’s right, your Honor.

JJ: Good.


{Lydon is joined at the defendant’s table by a bald man (name unknown) and a man in a leather jacket (Mitchell Jacobs, Tour Manager)}

JJ: -sir?

Bald man: His manager.

JJ: Tour manager, and a manager, all these people that you pay, Mr. Lydon. Expensive.

Lydon[sarcastically]: And none of them get their own day rooms.

JJ: What? None of them get their own- [laughs]

[Audience laughs]

JJ: All right. Serious me now.


Lydon: How would he know? He wasn’t even there.

JJ{To Lydon}: Eh! Shh.

[Lydon, arms crossed, gazes up at the ceiling, pouting. He mimes tossing or adjusting his hair. Audience chuckles.]

JJ{to Jacobs}: So is it possible that you used one or two of his things for one day? Or two days?

Jacobs: 99%, no.

JJ: But maybe you did.


JJ{to Williams}: I’m not satisfied, sir, that you were fired without cause. I’m not satisfied that you were in fact assaulted, because anyone that was assaulted in a way that you say were assaulted would have reported first thing in the morning or an hour later to an emergency room, which you did not. I am therefore dismissing your lawsuit. That’s all.

[Lydon claps quietly]

Byrd: Parties are excused, you may step out.

Lydon{to Bald Man}: Fairly obvious conclusion.

{cut to Outside Courtoom}

Lydon{to camera}: This is an insane business, and people tend to be a bit whack. I understand ‘no’. Judge Judy understands ‘no’. Mr. Williams doesn’t.

Williams{to camera}: No one will ever speak up against him, or, or stand up for themselves, and that was what essentially I was doing.

Lydon{to camera}: I think he would be better as a painter and decorator.

Huge thanks to Shaker Afurtiveone for the transcription!


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