LOS ANGELES (LALATE) – Is “CJ” in GTA: San Andreas really Michael Shagg Washington (“Cypress Hill”)? Michael “Shagg” Washington says absolutely and has brought a lawsuit against Rockstar Games and publisher Take-Two.
“Shagg” is described as a “model and back-up singer/performer” for Cypress Hill, according to EW. He claims in January 2003 he was interviewed by Rockstar for two hours about his life, told he would be notified if they were interested in using him in a future game. Now Washington is suing reportedly for 25 percent of the sales with causes of action including fraud and copyright infringement.
Washington is represented by attorney Jeff Grotke. He issued the following statement to news this week “It’s hard to believe that the makers of a game that allows you to shoot at cops, pick up [women on the street], and run over pedestrians at will, would actually cheat somebody out of money, but this seems to be the case.”
Take Two issued the following statement to news. “The Company believes the lawsuit is completely without merit and will vigorously defend itself in the matter.”
The complaint states “In or about July 2010 the Plaintiff learned from his young nephew that many people suspected he was ‘CJ’, the lead character in the game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The plaintiff had never seen the game. He did not own or play video games, but it seemed possible that he had been included in the game”.
Johnson claims the 2003 interview was used to create CJ. “He then recalled the meeting in or about 2003, and it began to dawn on him that his image had been stolen for the game. Upon examination of images of ‘CJ’ and comparison to his photos from that year and other evidence, it became clear that Rockstar had stolen his image and never paid him.”
“The plaintiff, who had led a troubled life in his youth, responded to their questions and related details of his life. The plaintiff told them about details of his street life including how the teen-agers in his gang rode around on bicycles.” The complaint adds, “After almost two hours of questioning which covered many topics of g-ng and street life, the meeting ended and the plaintiff was allowed to leave.”