As many suspected would happen, former N.W.A manager and Ruthless Records co-founder Jerry Heller is suing all parties involved in Universal Pictures’ biopic Straight Outta Compton. According to TMZ, Heller is seeking more than $110 million, claiming that he was made into the film’s “bad guy” and was depicted by Paul Giamatti as “a sleazy manager who took advantage of Eazy-E, Dr. Dre and Ice Cube.”
Jerry Heller has gone on record, saying he never granted permission for filmmakers to use his name and likeness in the movie. The lawsuit says that among other scenes, he especially took issue with one that shows when his onscreen character “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 says that some of the primary story elements, including a scene that shows Eazy-E being forced to turn over his contractual rights to Suge Knigh for Death Row Records, were taken from his book Ruthless: A Memoir without his permission. Jerry Heller is suing for $35 million in compensatory damages, $75 million in punitive damages and all the film’s box office profits.
TMZ says that he has always planned to pursue legal action against the film According to reports Heller spent the film’s opening night at a screening with a team of lawyers. Although no one involved with the film has given an official reaction to the lawsuit specifically, when Rolling Stone asked Ice Cube what he thought Heller would think of the movie, Cube replied, “I don’t care.”
Universal is currently prepping for Straight Outta Compton’s HD Digal, Blue Ray, and DVD release.