Ex-NWA Manager Sues Over ‘Straight Outta Compton’ Film

31 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Ex-N.W.A. Manager Sues Over ‘Straight Outta Compton’ Film.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Former N.W.A. manager Jerry Heller filed a multimillion dollar defamation lawsuit Friday over the hit film “Straight Outta Compton,” claiming it portrayed him as a villain who led to the breakup of the gangster rap group. Heller, who is portrayed in the film by Paul Giamatti, sued former N.W.A. members Ice Cube and Dr Dre, the widow of rapper Eazy-E, and NBC Universal, which released the film in August. Dre, Ice Cube, the Eazy-E estate, Universal and other parties involved in the biopic Straight Outta Compton for what he feels is a unflattering portrayal of the Ruthless Records co-founder. As a music manager, Heller hooked up with Eazy-E early in the rap pioneer’s career and helped shepherd N.W.A to superstardom before Eazy-E’s death in 1995, his lawyer Michael R.

Heller is seeking upwards of $110 million in his suit, claiming that he was made to play the “bad guy” and “a sleazy manager who took advantage of Eazy-E, Dr. Heller is suing Woods-Wright because he claims the film, which she helped produce, violates non-disparagement clauses in a settlement he reached with her in 1999. It’s so patently dishonest and inaccurate, he couldn’t let it go on,” Shapiro told The News. “He and Eazy-E were like father and son, and depicting him as being fired by Eazy-E, indicting his loyalty and devotion and service, is anything but on the up and up,” Shapiro said. According to the lawsuit, some scenes that Heller especially took umbrage with were when his onscreen counterpart “withheld a $75k check from Ice Cube,” “fraudulently induced Dre and Cube to sign unfavorable contracts” and “enjoyed lobster brunches while the contracts were being signed.” Heller also claims that some elements of the plot – including a scene where Eazy-E is forced by Suge Knight to turn over his Death Row rights – were taken from Heller’s own Ruthless: A Memoir without permission. Dre and Ice Cube into signing inferior contracts and that he once withheld a $75,000 check from Cube. “They used his name and likeness without his permission and took material from his book, which has a 2006 copyright, and used it without his consent,” he said.

TMZ adds that Heller long planned on pursuing action against the film as he spent the film’s opening night at a screening where he sat in the front row with his legal team. 2015 may not bring everything that Back to the Future II promised it would: flying cars, self-lacing shoes, we don’t see ’em happening over the next 12 months. (Then again, don’t bet against Nike.) But this year will definitely pack plenty of punch when it comes to cultural happenings. Mad Max will roar back out of the apocalypse while Mad Men rides off into the sunset, rock’s Antichrist Superstar and hip-hop’s Yeezus will rise again.

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