Howard Stern’s ex-boyfriend John Melendez – best known as “Bumble John” – lost an appeal to his lawsuit claiming that SiriusXM Use his name and voice to promote Stern Shows.
Melendez – who left Stern’s radio show in 2004 after 15 years – filed a lawsuit against the network in 2020 claiming that it was using outdated recordings on two of Stern’s dedicated channels to lure listeners without his permission.
On Tuesday, the Manhattan Second Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a lower court’s 2021 decision to dismiss Melendez’s suit, finding that SiriusXM does not owe Melendez any damages.
The judgment found that Melendez was not covered by federal copyright laws because he failed to claim that SiriusXM made money from his name rather than excerpts of the archival episode they aired featuring his voice.
Melendez was on “The Howard Stern Show” from 1988 to 2004 when he left for The Tonight Show With Jay Leno on NBC. Stern gave the nickname Melendez because of his lifelong speech disability.
Stern moved from radio to Sirius in 2006 under a five-year, $500 million contract—which included broadcast rights to older shows featuring Melendez.
“While we respectfully disagree with the court’s ruling, we note that it took 34 pages to issue its decision, and the second used this case as an opportunity to clarify the prevailing law in the circuit,” Melendez’s attorney, Michael Popock, told The Post.
“Mr. Popock had a commendable appeal seeking to reverse the rejection of his case, and should have ultimately been the winner in a case seeking to compensate him for years of unpaid creative work,” said Mr. Popock.
SiriusXM’s attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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