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Singer sues Rockstar for $250 million, claims it used his likeness in GTA: San Andreas

Rockstar just can't seem to catch a break (aside from fame and millions of dollars). Cypress Hill backup singer Michael “Shagg” Washington is suing the developer over what he says is the inclusion of his image in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

In the suit, Washington alleges that his likeness was the basis for the character of CJ. Furthermore, he claims that he met with Rockstar employees in 2003, where he discussed street life, and the possibility of him appearing in the game. The suit specifies that Washington mentioned that certain gang members would use bicycles to travel around.

Washington is asking for $250 million as compensation. As evidence, the suit uses the following photos to prove that Washington's image was used for the game:

Sure, there's a resemblance, but there may be a fatal flaw in the plaintiff's argument: CJ's appearance in San Andreas was customizable.

All three of those characters above are CJ. From haircut to body composition and size, it was up to the player to determine how CJ looked. Other evidence to be used in the suit seems shaky as well, if not completely irrelevant, such as the inclusion of a Cypress Hill song on the game's soundtrack.

Even more surprising is that Washington had apparently never seen GTA: San Andreas. He met with the developers and never had a look at the game in all this time? Not even one screenshot?

[Soucre: IGN]

Dec 9, 2010

32 comments

  • mrmorozov987 - December 11, 2010 12:54 a.m.

    Like some other person said: "I rode bikes when I was a teenager, too! Rockstar, where's my money?!?"
  • kwwalker - December 10, 2010 8:53 p.m.

    He acts like he is the only guy in earth with muscles, and tank top and a bald head. Dumbass. Probably just mad that cypress hill hasn't dropped an album in so long and his account is getting empty
  • CitizenWolfie - December 10, 2010 11:41 a.m.

    Bet he's not too angry at Cypress Hill's royalties from having some of their songs in the soundtrack though. If anyone should sue I'd say NWA has the best chance seeing how most of the opening chapter characters resemble the band members. "Ryder" looks so much like Easy E it's scary.
  • The4X - December 10, 2010 5:52 a.m.

    No chance on succeeding
  • 8bitBaby - December 10, 2010 5:40 a.m.

    wait... why is he just now making this claim? hrm... i guess what money he made off those albums has finally run out.
  • miningguyx360 - December 10, 2010 2:45 a.m.

    it would be funny if Rockstar said, "Well a lot of minorities look the same." That would be a PR nightmare... not that they haven't had to deal with that in the past.
  • ShaneCedt - December 10, 2010 2:21 a.m.

    Dog, I need some money. Fool, sue that videogame. That character looks just like you.
  • alexafterman - December 10, 2010 2:04 a.m.

    I feel like this is totally wackadoodle
  • Phillo - December 10, 2010 12:44 a.m.

    haha and he really expects to get anything after about 5 or 6 years from the games release. That alone screams how much of an idiot he is, and 250million for your image... why not get Snoop to join him then since CJ's friend turned enemy looks a "little" like him too. He'd have a better chance of winning that lawsuit anyway, what with having an actual celebrity in the case. At the end of the day, there is 6 billion people on Earth... some game is accidentally going to have someone who looks similar to some one in the world somewhere. Well at least I thought coincedences happen anyway. Feel sorry for Rockstar though, it appears the yank culture of suing over anything is really starting to bite at them.
  • lembo - September 4, 2012 9:21 p.m.

    at the end of the day Michael is a credited model in the game. Look at the game box. He got ripped off.
  • thecelticmandolin - December 10, 2010 12:13 a.m.

    ya know i always have trouble telling black dudes apart to, but god, fuck off Karl
  • podsaurus - December 10, 2010 12:08 a.m.

    I like how this comes up 6 years after the game came out.
  • NappyAfro - December 10, 2010 12:05 a.m.

    Funniest story that I've ever read today.
  • lovinmyps3 - December 9, 2010 11:53 p.m.

    It seems like he's a few years late to be filing a suit. I think this guy is full of shit and just trying to get some money out of Rockstar.
  • RazorRaptor9 - December 9, 2010 11:37 p.m.

    What's next, the guy's gonna search on Youtube until he finds something that looks like him and try to sue them as well?
  • Vulneratus - December 9, 2010 10:51 p.m.

    He's also suing the State of Washington for stealing his name before he was born I think he has a case on both counts We should all just jump on this crazy sue-Rockstar-bandwagon... I'm suing them for... eh... stealing my idea to bring the top-down open world all 3D and shit with the 3rd installment... Yeah I totally remember turnin' to my friend when we were playing GTA on PSone and sayin "Imagine what this would be like if it was all like 3D in 3rd person and we were down there seein it and all immersed n' stuff", and he was like "yeah that'll be the day!"-snort" Maybe he could testify in my case... Wheres my goddamn lawyer!!??...
  • D0CCON - December 9, 2010 10:49 p.m.

    I'm not saying this because all African Americans look alike, but CJ looks like a million different black people. Notice the graphics that don't allow for much of a resemblance to anything. 6 years ago they weren't ahead of the curve and they don't look good now at all. The game itself is fantastic, but how can you really find a true similarity (based on appearance) to anybody in that game. I can tell that he's African American and his stock body makes him bald. That only narrows down possible inspirations to about eleventy kabillion.
  • TR4rules - December 9, 2010 10:46 p.m.

    I am amost welling to bet that he is in need of cash before he looses everything he bought when he was still relevant. I am sorry pal but if you need money make an album that people want and don't try take it from someone that earned, stupid &^%$#@!!!! Really 250 million is a hefty hefty sum.
  • Felixthecat - December 9, 2010 10:35 p.m.

    They look nothing alike, maybe he should just go fuck himself.
  • HankVenture - December 9, 2010 10:32 p.m.

    lets be honest here, all "African-Americans" look the same...ps that's a joke

Showing 1-20 of 32 comments

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