So get this. Michael “Shagg” Washington of Cypress Hill fame is suing Rockstar Games for $250 Million over wrongful use of his likeness. Apparently Rockstar met with Shagg in 2003 and adopted the tales of his youth involving gang life and bike riding as inspiration to create CJ, GTA San Andreas’s main character. It’s easy to laugh this off as a money grab on Shagg’s part but it basically breaks down like this:
It seems that way back in 2003 the Cypress Hill backup singer met with reps from the game studio for a two hour interview “to talk about street life,” and the next thing you know, San Andreas is released and you have criminals riding around on bikes! Coincidence? Mr. Shagg doesn’t think so, and he’s asking for twenty-five percent of Rockstar’s profits from the game — approximately $250 million — because they’ve “stolen his image and never paid him.” [Engadget]
To my understanding, he doesn’t have much of a chance if he didn’t sign a contract agreement forbidding Rockstar to work with ideas gained from those meetings. More importantly getting a settlement, let alone winning a case worth $250 million, ain’t likely when you’re case has a shaky premise. The best case scenario involves a Cypress Hill record appearing in the next GTA game as consolation. Or maybe some weed? It would be far better than paying a lawyer to get the case thrown out. And quite honestly, would you REALLY be surprised if this suit got Mutumbo’d?