Jerry Heller Sues Over ‘Compton’

Former manager Jerry Heller filed a $110 million-plus defamation suit in Los Angeles Oct. 30 against just about everyone connected with the biopic “Straight Outta Compton,” for failing to get his permission to use his name and likeness and casting him in a negative light.
Former agent and Ruthless Records founder Jerry Heller (R) is portrayed in “Straight Outta Compton” by actor Paul Giamatti. The movie, about the rise of N.W.A. – which Heller guided to stardom – was reportedly made without his input.

Named defendants are Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, the estate of Eazy-E, NBC Universal and other parties. In addition to $110 million in damages, the suit seeks profits from the film. Heller claims he was portrayed as the “bad guy” and “a sleazy manager who took advantage of Eazy-E, Dr. Dre and Ice Cube” in the highly successful summer release in which he was played by actor Paul Giamatti.

Scenes Heller particularly objected to include one in which he “withheld a $75k check from Ice Cube,” “fraudulently induced Dre and Cube to sign unfavorable contracts” and “enjoyed lobster brunches while the contracts were being signed,” according to TMZ.

Heller also says some plot elements, particularly one that depicts Eazy-E being forced by Suge Knight to sign over his recording rights, were lifted from his book, “Ruthless: A Memoir,” without permission.

“The film is littered with false statements that harm the reputation of (Heller) and aim to ridicule and lower him in the opinion of the community and to deter third persons from associating or dealing with him,” the lawsuit states.

The suit reportedly seeks $35 million in compensatory damages, $75 million in punitive damages, and all box office profits. “Straight Outta Compton” earned nearly $200 million since its Aug. 14 release.