Former N.W.A manager Jerry Heller wants you to know that he is not a bad guy and he’s doing this by suing ‘Straight Outta Compton’.
Another day, another lawsuit in Hollywood. In a city that is plagued with lawyers and lawsuits, Jerry Heller is added to the long list of celebrities upset about a feature film. According to reports, Jerry Heller has filed a $110 million defamation lawsuit on Friday.
Heller claims the hit feature film inaccurately portrayed him as the the one responsible for breaking up N.W.A. If you cannot recall, Heller was played by the award winning actor Paul Giamatti.
According to Jerry Heller, he alleges that he did not take advantage of the artists and did not withold the $75,000 check from Ice Cube. In addition, Heller argues that he wasn’t fired by Eazy-E.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Heller is not backing down either. In fact, Heller is now working with Michael Shapiro, one of Hollywood’s biggest attorneys who has worked on some of the biggest cases in recent years including a lawsuit over music used in The Steve Harvey Show.
But, the latest Jerry Heller lawsuit is putting Shapiro against some big league attorneys including NBCUniversal, Legendary Pictures, Comptown Records, director F. Gary Gray, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and Eazy-E.
In addition to defamation, Heller is alleging “misappropriation of likeness, tortious interference, breach of a settlement agreement and copyright infringement.”
With regards to that settlement, said to have come in 1999, Heller and parties connected to Eazy E are said to have come to an agreement they “shall not make any statements, directly or indirectly in writing, orally, or in any other form, which disparage in any way the other.”
Heller also says through the lawsuit that he entered into an oral contract with various parties to collaborate on a book, and that those parties prepared at least four screenplays, with two being titled “Straight Outta Compton.” In 2006, his book was published by Simon and Schuster. The former N.W.A. manager is now asserting that this year’s film was based on those screenplays. He contends that key scenes like police forcibly detaining N.W.A. members at the studio trace back to his works.
You can read the full complaint here. But, the lawsuit alleges the film failed to give his consent, didn’t pay him a single dollar, and stole his likeness and image. The defendants are planning on using the First Amendment to fight this lawsuit.
Stay tuned for updates.