Cher sues Sonny Bono's widow over royalties

Cher has filed a lawsuit against Sonny Bono's widow, alleging that she is withholding royalties generated from Sonny & Cher hits.

The Believe singer filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles federal court on Wednesday against Sonny's fourth wife Mary Bono, claiming the former Republican congresswoman is illegally withholding royalties from Sonny & Cher hits such as I Got You Babe and The Beat Goes On, according to the City News Service.

In the lawsuit, Cher alleges that she and her second husband agreed to split revenue from their joint songs after they divorced in 1975. Cher's legal team claims that Sonny's fourth wife Mary "has undone" the music superstar's ownership of those rights and royalties in recent years. She is seeking at least $1 million (£729,000) in damages.

The Oscar-winning star married Sonny in 1964 and they found fame in the mid-1960s as the performing duo Sonny & Cher, with music hits and popular variety TV shows The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour and The Sonny & Cher Show.

Following their professional split in 1977, they enjoyed success on their own - Cher as a solo singer and movie star and Sonny as a politician. He was serving as a Republic congressman when he died in a skiing accident in 1998 and was succeeded by Mary.

Neither Cher nor Mary has publicly commented on the legal action.