Cypress Hill rapper Michael Washington, A.K.A. “Shagg”, has filed a suit against Rockstar Games. Washington contends that the developer used his likeness without permission for the lead character in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
San Andreas was released in 2005 for PlayStation 2, Xbox and PC. Washington says he was unaware his supposed likeness had been used until earlier this year. He seeks $250 million for infringement, fraud and misappropriation.
The suit reads: “Upon examination of images of ‘CJ’ and comparison to his photos from that year and other evidence, it became clear that Rockstar had stolen his image and never paid him.”
It goes on to clarify the belated contention: “The plaintiff had never seen the game. He did not own or play video games, but it seemed possible that he had been included in the game.
“He then recalled [a] meeting in or about 2003 [with Rockstar], and it began to dawn on him that his image had been stolen for the game,” (via VG247).
In the alleged meeting, Washington says Rockstar queried him on “street life”:
“The plaintiff, who had led a troubled life in his youth, responded to their questions and related details of his life.
“The plaintiff told them about details of his street life including how the teen-agers in his gang rode around on bicycles.
“After almost two hours of questioning which covered many topics of gang and street life, the meeting ended and the plaintiff was allowed to leave.”