Richard Carpenter Files $2 Million Breach of Contract Lawsuit Over Carpenters Songs

“Close to You” songsmith claims that “substantial sums” have been wrongfully withheld from him and his deceased sister’s estate

Watch out, Universal Music Group and A&M Records; Richard Carpenter longs to be close to you — in a courtroom.

Carpenter — one half of the legendary musical duo The Carpenters — filed suit against Universal and A&M on Wednesday, claiming that he’s owed a mountain of royalties from The Carpenters’ catalog of hits.

The estate of Karen Carpenter, Richard’s sister and musical partner, who died in 1983, is also listed as a plaintiff in the lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.

“Throughout their entire career, the Carpenters loyally provided their recording to services to defendant A&M, now a division of defendant UMG,” the lawsuit reads. “However, rather than reward The Carpenters’ long-standing loyalty and honor their legacy, Defendants have withheld substantial sums owed to The Carpenters.”

Among the alleged financial shortfalls: The suit says that “multiple accounting errors” were uncovered after “specially trained accountants” audited the books, and the amounts the suit is claiming are substantial; according to the suit, the initial audit, for the period of January 1, 2008 to June 20, 2011, revealed that UMG and A&M had misclassified revenue from digital downloads as as record-sales royalties as opposed to licensing revenue, leading to a shortfall “in the approximate amount of $736,233.”

A second audit, for the period from July 1, 2011 to Dec. 31, 2014, uncovered underpayments “in the approximate amount of $871,678,” the lawsuit claims.

That kind of cash could buy a lot of bling-a-ling-a-ling.

TheWrap has reached out to Universal for comment on the lawsuit.

Alleging breach of contract, the suit is seeking damages “in an amount that exceeds $2 million, the exact amount to be proved at trial.”

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.