Johnny Gill Says He’s Tired of the ‘Nonsense’ and ‘Lies’ Regarding the New Edition Trademark Drama
If you know anything about New Edition, you know the group has had its share of drama over the past three decades. The most recent issue involves the use of the New Edition name itself, and now Johnny Gill has spoken out about it.
Back in May, we reported that the highly anticipated tour with both New Edition and the cast of the New Edition biopic was canceled because of a behind the scenes feud over the New Edition trademark. Shortly after the drama came to light, Ronnie DeVoe, Bobby Brown, Ricky Bell, and Mike Bivins announced that they'd be going out on tour this fall under the name RBRM— without Ralph Tresvant and Johnny Gill.
RBRM has been doing press all summer in support of their upcoming tour, and the Bobby Brown Story set to debut on BET on Sept. 4. The members of RBRM went on The Breakfast Club on Thursday (Aug. 23), and said that Gill and Tresvant trademarked the "New Edition" name without their consent.
“I think it was sitting out there and we were focused on other stuff that people didn’t realize it was as important as it was,” Bivins said of trademark battle, which has been ongoing since as early as 2013. “It was an oversight. Someone caught it and we found out about it later and now we’re dealing with it. I feel when Brooke [Payne] gave it to us on a piece of paper (Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky and Mike) that’s it. The truth is in the moment. We’re not going to argue about the name; we built the name and Johnny walked into the name. I know we’re going to get back together because we always do.”
Now, Johnny Gill has addressed the interview with his own statement, which he posted on Instagram, disputing any claims of shadiness and his and Tresvant's part.
"This matter truthfully has nothing to do with the trademark name," Gill revealed. "We all had a conversation regarding everyone having their names on it, to protect the integrity of the group. Ralph and I suggested that we put together an agreement amongst all of us, that no one person would ever use the name of the group individually, but that it would always be used by the group collectively, so as to avoid any ambiguity by having multiple variations of New Edition in use."
Gill goes on to say that he wished the issues between the group could've been handled privately, instead of in public.
"This is not our first irreconciliation, and it most certainly won’t be our last moment tackling issues, as there are certain members involved who seem to believe in taking their issues to social media, as opposed to dealing with things like grown men," Gill said. "That is unacceptable, regardless of the circumstances and will never be cool by my standards."
For now, RBRM is still scheduled to head out on tour this September. The group will open the tour in California and close out in Florida right before Thanksgiving. Brown's BET biopic is also set to air on Sept. 4-5, adding more drama to the mix.
You can check out Gill's full statement below.
"I’m just getting home from vacation and I’m just now seeing a barrage of messages pertaining to the discrepancies surrounding the New Edition trademark. If you notice, Ralph and I have yet to respond to the accusations involving the NE trademark, as airing out internal issues can rarely be seen as integral.
This matter truthfully has nothing to do with the trademark name. We all had a conversation regarding everyone having their names on it, to protect the integrity of the group. Ralph and I suggested that we put together an agreement amongst all of us, that no one person would ever use the name of the group individually, but that it would always be used by the group collectively, so as to avoid any ambiguity by having multiple variations of New Edition in use.
Again, this is not about the name. That is a matter that could’ve been reconciled some time ago with an agreement, but instead of hiring an attorney to draw up an agreement amongst us, it seems that they’d rather hire a lawyer to fight us over something so simple. The REAL truth behind all of this would be devastating to the NE fans. And, thus, Ralph and I have decided to take the high road regarding this matter, while other members continue to behave in a way that’s disrespectful to our legacy when we all know the truth.
The general public only hearing one side of the story and taking sides, is no different than being on a jury and convicting someone without first reviewing at all of the evidence and hearing all parties involved equally. For 35 years this group has always had issues and somehow we’ve managed to move forward in a more than progressive manner. This is not our first irreconciliation, and it most certainly won’t be our last moment tackling issues, as there are certain members involved who seem to believe in taking their issues to social media, as opposed to dealing with things like grown men. That is unacceptable, regardless of the circumstances and will never be cool by my standards.
Choosing sides and not knowing the full truth will only contribute to the climate of any internal problems. At some point, one has to recognize when the battle is beyond himself and let go and let God. If the fans ever want to see this group move forward, this course of action will be best. You can’t be the jury or choose sides because when don’t have all of the info or evidence to be able to make an honest and fair assessment of the situation. However, by now you all have enough to know that we all need your prayers! This is my first and last time addressing the nonsense, the deceit, the manipulation, and more importantly, the lies!