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Pete Doherty Reaches Settlement After Being Accused of Stealing Lyrics

Pete Doherty
Simone Joyner, Getty Images

Pete Doherty can’t seem to catch a break.  The former Libertines frontman, who was recently thrown out of a drug rehabilitation center for disruptive behavior, has also been accused of stealing someone else’s lyrics and claiming them as his own.

This alleged act of plagiarism was first hinted at when Doherty’s most recent musical project, Babyshambles, came out with the song ‘Baddie’s Boogie’ on their 2007 release of ‘Shotter’s Nation.’ Doherty credited former girlfriend and model Kate Moss with having co-written the track, which bore a striking resemblance to a poem called ‘Stiff With a Quiff,’ written by punk artist Nick Toczek back in 1983.

The Babyshambles lyrics that Toczek recognized as his own are as follows: “It’s a lousy life for the washed up wife of a permanently plastered, p—d up b—d.” He was convinced that the similarity between his piece of writing and the Babyshambles song was not a mere coincidence, and he began investigating the issue further. As he reported in a recent statement, “I got my solicitor on to this within weeks of the album being released. After that, Kate Moss’ name never appeared among the writing credits for ‘Baddie’s Boogie.'”

The dispute over this song lasted for nearly five years and was finally resolved by Doherty’s management agreeing to a £10,000 (over $15,000) settlement. Moss’ name has since been replaced by Toczek’s on the insert sleeve of Babyshambles’ ‘Shotter’s Nation’ as well as on their live album and DVD, ‘Oh! What a Lovely Tour.’

According to Toczek, this entire lawsuit could have been avoided if Doherty had been honest from the get-go. He said, “It is daft because if Pete Doherty had just picked up the phone and rung me and said can we use your lyrics, I would have said yes, just give me a credit.”

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