Published Oct 30, 2015Following an earlier critique of N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton for glossing over Dr. Dre's violence against women, the band's old manager Jerry Heller has filed a defamation lawsuit against the filmmakers over "false and damaging" plot points and actor Paul Giamatti's unflattering portrayal of him.
TMZ reports that Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, the estate of Eazy-E, NBC Universal and more are listed as defendants in the lawsuit, which is apparently seeking a minimum of $110 million US over the movie's portrayal of Heller. The "Godfather of Gangsta Rap" is upset that the big-screen adaptation made him out to be "a sleazy manager who took advantage of Eazy-E, Dr. Dre and Ice Cube." It also notes that the film used "lies" to present him as "the bad guy."
Of note, Heller claims that, unlike in the film, he did not force Dr. Dre and Ice Cube into illegal contracts, he did not with hold $75,000 from Ice Cube, and he was not fired by Eazy-E. He adds that he did not take the late Eazy-E to any "lobster brunches" during contract negotiations.
Additionally, Heller says he did not give permission for his likeness to be used in Straight Outta Compton and is perturbed that filmmakers didn't opt for a fictionalized name like "Gary Beller." As such, he's suing for $35 million in compensatory damages, $75 million in punitive damages, and demanding he be given all profits from the film.
So far, the defendants have not commented on the lawsuit publicly.