This past Friday night, family, friends, and fans of the late ODB gathered along with members of Wu Tang Clan to attend the NuHo Film Festival’s screening of Dirty: Platinum Edition, a documentary on the life of the late rapper.
There was, however, one important person not in attendance: Icelene Jones, ODB’s widow.
In fact, as controller of ODB’s estate, not only did she not attend the screening, she also prevented the screening from happening at all via a cease and desist order presented by the estate’s attorney.
Shortly before the film’s start time, NuHo owner and managing partner Chris Kanik had to break the news to the swelling audience.
Clan leader RZA shared his frustration with the crowd.
“You gotta protect yourself legally, but a film is something that can be portrayed in home, in public places like libraries and Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAMS), where art is given to the people,” RZA said. “I can’t see how a lawyer can stop culture from being spread. This film is a documentary. That’s one of the biggest problems we have in this country – the problems of lawyers. I don’t understand how ODB, who passed away nine years ago, who has children, who has family members who are sitting right there in that audience, he has fans who have supported his music, he’s a part of the Wu Tang Legacy…I can’t see how a lawyer, who never met him personally, can stop this film from being shown to the public.”
Some members of the visibly upset crown became so upset and agitated that the police had to be summoned to settle things down.
This isn’t the first time that the estate of ODB has sent a cease and desist order to prevent his likeness from being shown. Earlier this year, Mrs. Jones halted the Wu Tang Clan’s plans to use a hologram of him to perform along side them at some Rock The Bells festival dates.
In an recent interview, Jones essentially stated that it’s all a breakdown of communication and as the controller of the estate, she simply needs to be notified of such plans.
“I’m the administrator [of ODB’s estate] and the only authority to give anyone permission to do anything like this—any likeness, any music. They need to come to me,” she’d said. “I’m so available. I’m accessible. I’m easy to contact. I just want to make that understood. I’m a nice person. It’s just that people are doing things without my knowledge.”