'Straight Outta Compton' Faces Defamation Lawsuit From Former N.W.A. Manager Jerry Heller

It's no secret at this point that Straight Outta Compton was a smash in 2015. The hip-hop biopic, which traces the formation and early careers of rap legends N.W.A., slayed box offices records across the U.S. and abroad when it was released: To date, it's made over $188 million worldwide, a number that makes it one of the most successful music biopics of all time. However, despite this, success often isn't without its drawbacks: According to The Hollywood Reporter, former N.W.A. manager Jerry Heller has filed a lawsuit against Straight Outta Compton's studio, stars, and producers to the tune of $110 million for alleged defamation of character. 

As Deadline reports, Heller filed his suit on Friday, claiming that he wants the world to know he's not a "bad guy" and denying accusations made against him in the movie — including that he's the one responsible for the breakup of N.W.A. Heller also reportedly denied taking advantage of his clients, allegedly withholding money from the late Ice Cube, and being fired by Eazy E — all events portrayed in the film Straight Outta Compton. Because of this, Heller reportedly believes the world has the wrong idea about him and contacted LA-based entertainment attorney, Michael Shapiro, to represent him in his case against the film.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Heller names "NBCUniversal, Legendary Pictures, Comptown Records, director F. Gary Gray, the artists who were the subjects of the biopic and others" as the defendants in his suit, all of whom are accused of "misappropriation of likeness, tortious interference, breach of a settlement agreement and copyright infringement." The latter "copyright infringement" accusation seems to stem from a book and four screenplays Heller claims to have written in the early 2000s, at least two of which he claims he titled Straight Outta Compton. In total, Heller lists 12 complains in his suit, each of which must be answered by the defendants. 

The entirety of Heller's complaint can be read online here. Bustle has reached out to Heller's attorney, Universal Studios, Legendary Pictures, and Comptown Records for comment, but so far has received no response from any party. A representative for Straight Outta Compton's director, F. Gary Gray, had no comment.

Images: Universal Pictures (2)

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