Nobody who saw the critically-acclaimed N.W.A biopic earlier this year came away with it thinking, “that Jerry Heller seemed like a decent bloke.” Essentially pitted as one of the core reasons the group grew distant and eventually disbanded.
Heller, who was played by Paul Giamatti in the film, has now responded to the film with a huge defamation lawsuit against Ice Cube, Dr Dre, Eazy-E‘s estate, NBC Universal and more. He’s suing for $35 million in “compensatory damages” and more than $75 million in “punitives”, on top of the profits fro the wildly successful film
According to TMZ, he has cited a series of events throughout the film that allegedly never actually happened, including withholding a $75 000 check from Cube, fraudulently conning Dre and Cube into signing “unfavourable” contracts, that he “enjoyed lobster brunches”, and that Eazy-E fired him. He goes on to claim he never permitted the film to “use his likeness”, accuses the producers of using excerpts from his book without permission, and more.
As TMZ also points out, Heller and his lawyers sat in the very front row of the film’s premiere in Beverly Hills.
Perhaps the strangest complaint in his long list of issues, is that the film didn’t use a fake name for his character – his suggestion was “Gary Beller”.