12/19/2002 at 01:00 AM EST
Paul McCartney, answering to Yoko Ono, released a lengthy statement on Wednesday rejecting suggestions that the widow of his late partner John Lennon might sue him because he reversed the credits on Beatles songs for his latest album, Reuters reports.
McCartney's new album, "Back In The U.S. Live 2002," lists 19 classic Beatles songs "by Paul McCartney and John Lennon," rather than the more traditional "Lennon-McCartney," which the pair once agreed on early in their careers.
In his statement, McCartney, 60, said: "The truth is that this is much ado about nothing, and there is no need for anybody to get their knickers in a twist."
While there have been reports on both sides of the Atlantic (Ono lives in New York, McCartney in England) that Ono, 69, was considering litigation over the matter, her spokesman Elliot Mintz tells Reuters: "This is not an issue involving a legal matter ... She is secure in the knowledge that the agreement that has been in place for the past 40 years stands."
Mintz said that in the past McCartney has asked Ono to reverse the order of songwriting credit and that she has repeatedly rejected his requests, because a "deal is a deal." Mintz said McCartney did not contact Ono for his most recent CD.
In his statement, McCartney said he was not worried about Ono's displeasure but thought it was time to clarify the facts about this "long-running and rather silly dispute."
He added that it was time for people like Ono to be a little generous and "not have a problem with his suggestion of how to simply map out for those who do not know who wrote which of the songs."