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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 whathe says isthe 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 bea 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?


Dec 9, 2010