Denise Truscello/WireImageLate Steely Dan guitarist Walter Becker‘s estate has responded to the lawsuit initiated last week by Becker’s band mate, Donald Fagen, seeking to establish full control and ownership of the group.

The statement from Becker’s estate begins, “We were disappointed to learn that Donald Fagen commenced a lawsuit against (the estate of) Walter Becker, his partner of 50 years, on the eve of Thanksgiving. We believe the agreement to which Mr. Fagen refers in his suit — drafted 45 years ago — was not in effect at the time of Walter’s death.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fagen’s lawsuit states that the band mates signed a 1972 agreement stipulating that when one member quits or dies, Steely Dan purchases all of that member’s shares of the group. Fagen claims that shortly after Becker’s death, his estate sent a letter to Fagen maintaining that the agreement was no longer in effect.

The statement from Becker’s estate claims Fagen’s lawsuit is “riddled with half-truths and omissions [and] misleadingly fails to state that the day after Walter died, Mr. Fagen had his lawyer send a demand letter to Walter’s estate, thus beginning a legal campaign against Walter’s family immediately after his death.”

The statement also says the suit falsely claims that Becker’s widow, Delia Cioffi, initiated legal action against Fagen, adding, “In our view, Mr. Fagen is unfairly trying to deprive Walter’s family of the fruits of their joint labors.”

Becker’s estate maintains it tried to reach a compromise with two different attorneys working for Fagen, but claims Donald fired both of them and states that “Mr. Fagen’s third and current lawyer did not even attempt to contact us prior to filing a lawsuit.”

The statement ends by vowing, “[W]e will vigorously defend against [Fagen’s] unwarranted and frivolous case.”

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