There was a drama during musician Ed Sheeran’s federal copyright lawsuit that suddenly threw the proceedings into chaos.
Kathryn Townsend Griffin, the woman Sheeran accuses of copying parts of his 2014 song Thinking Out Loud with elements from her father’s iconic 1973 soul classic Let’s Get it On, suddenly collapsed while a music expert was being questioned.
Townsend Griffin is the daughter of Ed Townsend, who co-wrote the song with Marvin Gaye.
Just as Sheeran’s lawyers began cross-examining music expert Alexander Stewart, Townsend Griffin was walking out of the courtroom when she suddenly fell.
She was helped by several people who worked to lift her arms and legs, but she eventually had to be stretched out of court after receiving medical attention.
Kathryn Townsend Griffin, center, who accuses Ed Sheeran of copying Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get it On” in his hit song “Thinking Out Loud,” collapsed in court Wednesday
A stretcher was brought to help with the medical situation after her collapse
Sheeran was forced to deny scamming the number during opening statements. He is pictured leaving court on Wednesday
Her attorney did not disclose the reason for her fainting, but said she has a pre-existing medical condition.
The incident caused a seven-minute delay before Judge Louis Stanton ordered proceedings to continue.
During Stewart’s testimony, he outlined the similarities between the two hit songs, noting how they “have the same harmonic rhythm” while pointing out melodic similarities in the verse, chorus, and interlude.
In a bizarre turn of events, a computer-generated rendition of “Let’s Get it On” was played in court during Stewart’s testimony, which took all of Wednesday.
Townsend Griffin, who was wearing a beige jacket with “Dignity” spelled out on the back, had commented during an earlier break in the proceedings that the AI version of the song would have “made her father laugh” had he heard it.
Sheeran was in the stands on Tuesday where he denied wrongdoing and stated that he would not perform someone else’s work in front of thousands of fans.
He told the jury that he “would have been quite an idiot to get on a stage in front of 20,000 people and do that.”
The British pop star is accused of ripping off Marvin Gayer’s Let’s Get It On track for his 2014 hit Thinking Out Loud. Gaye is pictured in July 1976
Ed Sheeran leaves federal court in Manhattan after another day of testimony in the pending case brought against him by Marvin Gaye’s family for overly resembling a rhythm from “Let’s Get It On.” He brought his guitar to court today
Townsend Griffin’s attorney, Ben Crump, had claimed in his opening statement that Sheeran made a “confession” when he performed a mashup of his and Gaye’s songs at a 2014 concert in Switzerland.
He referred to the video of the live performance as the “smoking gun” in the lawsuit.
Lawyers for the Townsend heirs, seeking a $100 million payout, showed the video of the mash-up to support their claim that Sheeran, his label and music publisher owe them a share of the song’s profits.
Crump said the case was about “giving credit where credit is due.”
Townsend Griffin, the daughter of the late co-writer of the 1973 soul classic, was assisted by several people and eventually taken out of court on a stretcher. She is pictured on Wednesday
Kathryn Townsend Griffin is seen with her attorney Benjamin Crump on Tuesday
The heirs of Ed Townsend, Gaye’s co-writer of the 1973 classic, have sued Sheeran for “striking similarities” and “overt common elements” between the 2014 song and the Motown hit
Townsend Griffin, who has a pre-existing medical condition, did not disclose the reason for her passing out. She is pictured on Tuesday
‘Let’s Get It On’ has been heard in countless movies and commercials and has garnered hundreds of millions of streams, spins and radio plays since its release in 1973. ‘Thinking Out Loud’ won a Grammy for Song of the Year in 2016.
The lawsuit was filed in 2017. The trial is expected to take up to two weeks.
Townsend, who also wrote the 1958 R&B doo-wop hit “For Your Love,” was a singer, songwriter, and lawyer. He died in 2003.
The trial is ongoing and the outcome will determine whether Sheeran’s hit was infringing on the copyright of ‘Let’s Get it On’.