Dr. Dre, Ice Cube sued for defamation

Los Angeles, Oct 31 (IANS) Jerry Heller, former manager of American hip hop group N.W.A, has filed a defamation suit over “Straight Outta Compton”, claiming that the biographical drama film portrayed him in bad light.

He has sued Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, director F. Gary Gray, the Estate of Eazy-E, NBCUniversal and others.

The $110 million lawsuit also names Legendary Pictures, Comptown Records and the biopic’s screenwriters as defendants, reports variety.com.

The civil suit, filed on Friday here, claims trade libel, false light, breach of oral contract and intentional interference with a prospective economic advantage.

Heller, who is portrayed in the film by Paul Giamatti, is suing for $35 million in monetary damages, $75 million in exemplary damages and restitution of profits from the film, which minted $199.6 million worldwide.

Heller’s lawyer Michael R. Shapiro said actor Giamatti’s depiction of the N.W.A music manager is damaging to his reputation.

“Untrue statements in the movie made Heller look like a dishonest, sleazy guy; that he was in effect responsible for the group breaking up,” Shapiro said.

In the suit, Heller takes issue with his portrayal as a “greedy, selfish personal manager that took advantage of the members of N.W.A.”

“Straight Outta Compton” was a hit and it was released in August this year.

A NBCUniversal spokesperson and Ice Cube’s representative refused to comment on the lawsuit. And Dr. Dre’s attorney didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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