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Straight Outta Compton Film Is Full of Lies, Lawsuit Claims

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By Ephrat Livni, Esq. on November 02, 2015 10:23 AM

You probably don't know this guy by name but he is suing for defamation, saying his good name is being slammed. The former manager of rap group NWA, Jerry Heller, is suing the producers of the film Straight Outta Compton for their portrayal of him.

Heller denies much of what happened in the movie and says that the screenplay is based on work he wrote years earlier. He alleges that filmmakers failed to seek his consent for use of his work and image, didn't compensate him, and tarnished his reputation. Besides the defamation claims, Heller is alleging misappropriation of likeness, tortious interference, breach of a settlement agreement and copyright infringement, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Hit Film Slams Manager

The greater the success of the film, the more serious the damage to him from a negative portrayal, Heller says. The former manager wants to compensation for damage to his reputation, which has been harmed by what he says are lies in the film.

Heller argues that the popular movie falsely portrayed him as responsible for the break-up of the rap act consisting of Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Eazy E and others. He says he didn't take advantage of the artists, never withheld a $75,000 check from Ice Cube, didn't dine on lobster brunches, and wasn't fired by Eazy E and more.

"The insidiousness of Defendants' behavior is underscored by the fact that the Film may become the largest globally grossing music-story based film ever," states the complaint. "The larger the success of the film, the greater the damages to Plaintiff."

Copy Cat Screenplays

Heller complains that the screenplay used in the popular film contains scenes first written in his own screenplays. He prepared four draft screenplays for Xenon films, two of which had the same name as the film finally made.

The former NWA manager also complained that no one sought his consent for use of his image, casting Paul Giamati to play him without seeking any permission for the portrayal. Heller is also worried about what others will think if him after seeing Straight Outta Compton. "The film is littered with false statements that harm the reputation of Plaintiff and aim to ridicule and lower him in the opinion of the community and to deter third persons from associating or dealing with him."

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