A judge has ruled against Universal’s dismissal of a lawsuit against N.W.A. biopic, Straight Outta Compton.
The group’s former manager, Jerry Heller, filed a $110 million complaint over his depiction in the film.
The movie, which grossed $201.6 million at the box office ending the year as one of the top 10 highest-grossing films, depicts Heller as a “sleazy manager.” Heller claims he was not at all corrupt and filed the defamation lawsuit in October of 2015 accusing Universal, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, F. Gary Gray (the movie’s director) and Legendary Pictures Funding of defamation, misappropriation of likeness and copyright infringement.
The defendants refuted Heller’s claims back in February and asked a judge to dismiss the suit entirely, reported Deadline.
“The Film is a docudrama chronicling a decade-long story from 1986 to 1996 of the pioneering rap record company, Ruthless Records, the rise and demise of Ruthless Records’ extremely successful musical group, N.W.A, and the careers and personal relationships of members of N.W.A,” stated the anti-SLAPP motion. “Because these claims fall directly within the scope of protection afforded by the anti-SLAPP statute, the burden is shifted to Plaintiff Gerald E. Heller (‘Plaintiff’ or ‘Heller’) to demonstrate a ‘probability’ of prevailing on his claims. Plaintiff cannot meet this burden.”
Which is basically legal jargon for ‘you can’t prove it.’
Though Straight Outta Compton’s legal team points to the film’s disclaimer about it being a “dramatization,” a federal judge ruled Monday to deny the motion to dismiss.
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