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Nothing Personal ...Says Bunny Rugs' widow after lawsuit threat

Published:Monday | February 29, 2016 | 12:00 AMShereita Grizzle
William 'Bunny Rugs' Clarke, former lead singer of Third World.


Bouvier Clarke, the widow of late reggae singer William Clarke, aka 'Bunny Rugs', has rubbished claims that she and her family are trying to damage the name and reputation of internationally renowned reggae band Third World, this after lawyers representing the band claimed that Clarke's pending lawsuit against Third World is a ploy to damage the band's "good name".

Clarke told The Gleaner that her decision to file a lawsuit against the band is based on their negligence and not her own agenda.

"This is really hard for me and very stressful," she said. "It is not something I want to do because the relationship my late husband had with the band was not a negative one ... . They were like brothers, but I've been trying to reach out to the band regarding money/payments owed to my husband and I have not been getting any response."

She went on to say that she has no knowledge of the types of contracts her late husband signed with the band and has been seeking to find out exactly what she is entitled to, but has not been successful.




"I was informed by a member of the band that they owed money to Rugs and would be making payments to me in that regard. I had no knowledge of the whole monetary situation until it was pointed out to me," she explained. "Rugs didn't have a will and, therefore, everything he has is tied up with the band and I've been trying to find out just what he was entitled to since he passed, and two years later, I'm not any closer to that goal."

In his statement to The Gleaner, the band's legal representative, Paul Beswick, not only refuted Clarke's claims, but revealed that any money owed to Rugs regarding royalties and intellectual property would not be paid by the members of the band themselves because they are not authorised to make payments.

"Third World rejects any assertion that it has failed to account to Bunny Rugs' estate or that it holds any funds due to be paid to the estate. The fact is, all payments due to Bunny Rugs personally for royalties and intellectual property rights are paid individually by the various performing rights societies which handle payments of this kind," the statement read. "In Bunny Rugs' case, the payments would be made to his appointed personal representative or to some other appropriately authorised relative, who would have had to have notified these societies of their appointments to the estate of Bunny Rugs," it continued.

When questioned on whether she was aware that she needed to inform the relevant societies on her authorisation to collect royalties, Clarke said yes.

"I know about that and I'm in the middle of handling those accounts as far as royalties are concerned. Those are not the payments I'm enquiring about," she explained. "I am seeking to find out how to get payment from the company - Third World - which is responsible for merchandising. There are three people who own a share of that company, as far as I know, and they are Rugs, Richard and 'Cat'. I want to know what shares my husband is to receive in that regard," said Clarke. "This has nothing to do with me. I'm not getting pleasure from this," she said. "This has come down to them (other members of the band) not living up to their end of the bargain and me wanting to look out for my children and Rug's other children. I want to be done with this as soon as possible because the situation is very stressful."

Last Tuesday, The Gleaner received a statement from Clarke which revealed her intentions to carry out legal action against the remaining members of Third World. The statement also revealed that Clarke was appointed as the personal representative of the estate of William Clarke by order of the District Court of Osceola County in the state of Florida. This means that Clarke has the power to handle all decisions regarding Rugs' estate according to law. This court order entitles Clarke to demand, sue for, recover and receive all property belonging to William 'Bunny Rugs' Clarke.