Heller disputes big-screen version of his life
Jerry Heller, the former NWA manager played by Paul Giamatti in this year’s Straight Outta Compton, is suing filmmakers for over $100m (£71m).
TMZ reports that Heller is suing for defamation after seeing himself portrayed as a “sleazy manager who took advantage of Eazy-E, Dr Dre and Ice Cube” in the successful 2015 musical biopic. Heller states that this is a “false and damaging” portrayal of his character. He also labels certain stories told within the film, including the allegation that he made NWA sign bad record deals, as “lies”.
In legal documents obtained by the US publication, Heller even claims that he did not eat lobster at lunch when signing the group. Heller adds that he never gave Dr Dre, Ice Cube, the estate of Eazy-E, NBC Universal, and other parties associated with the film permission to use likeness.
He is seeking $35m (£22m) in compensation plus a further $75m (£48) in damages and also wants 100 per cent of the film’s profits. Straight Outta Compton has taken around $160m (£103m) at the US box office alone.
Straight Outta Compton was released in the UK in August. The film is named after the classic NWA album and follows the rise of the outfit, touching upon their brushes with the local police and ultimate success in the music industry.
Ice Cube recently spoke to NME as part of a Twitter Q&A alongside his son O’Shea Jackson Jr, who plays Ice Cube in th emovie. Jason Mitchell, who plays Eazy-E in the film, was also present.
Catch up on the #AskCompton Twitter Q+A below.