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Sheeran’s court case played a toll on his mental health

Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran Image credit: thetimes.co.uk

Ed Sheeran has highlighted how a recent legal battle increased his stress levels and affected his mental health.

The global hit-maker won a court case on Wednesday May 6 after songwriters, Sami Chokri and Ross O’Donoghue accused Sheeran of using ‘particular lines and phrases’ from their track, Oh Why on his chart-topping single Shape Of You.

This week Mr Justice Zacaroli said ‘the two phrases play very different roles in their respective songs’. 

Ed Sheeran won the High Court case alongside Snow Patrol’s Johnny McDaid and producer Steven McCutcheon.

In a joint statement the three musicians said the ordeal was a stressful experience and played a toll on their wellbeing.

‘There was a lot of talk throughout this case about cost. But there is more than just a financial cost,’ they explained.

The statement continued: ‘There is a cost on creativity. When we are tangled up in lawsuits, we are not making music or playing shows.

‘There is a cost on our mental health. The stress this causes on all sides is immense. It affects so many aspects of our everyday lives and the lives of our families and friends. We are not corporations. We are not entities. We are human beings. We are songwriters.

‘We do not want to diminish the hurt and pain anyone has suffered through this, and at the same time, we feel it is important to acknowledge that we too have had our own hurts and life struggles throughout the course of this process.

‘We respect the music of those who’ve come before us and have inspired us along the way, whoever they are. We have always sought to clear or to acknowledge our influences and collaborators. It doesn’t matter how successful something appears to be, we still respect it.

‘It is so painful to hear someone publicly, and aggressively, challenge your integrity.

‘It is so painful to have to defend yourself against accusations that you have done something that you haven’t done and would never do.’

Their statement concluded: ‘While this has been one of the most difficult things we have ever been through in our professional lives, we will continue to stand up against baseless claims, and protect our rights and the integrity of our musical creativity, so we that can continue to make music, always.

‘Our message to songwriters everywhere is: Please support each other. Be kind to one another. Let’s continue to cultivate a spirit of community and creativity.’

Sheeran, McDaid and McCutcheon said they hope their court victory highlights the need ‘for a safe space for all songwriters to be creative, and free to express their hearts… fearlessly’. 

Ed Sheeran’s motto is “Smile more, eat some chocolate!”