“Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” contained an adventure filled with illicit acts, crimes and punishable offenses, but a backup singer from Cypress Hill believes that he’s found an element within the game that’s worthy of a lawsuit against Rockstar Games and publisher Take-Two Interactive. Michael “Shagg” Washington claims that Rockstar ripped off his likeness and details from his life to create “San Andreas” star Carl “CJ” Johnson, and he’s filed a complaint in a Los Angeles Superior Court stating that much and more.
The suit stems from a conversation Washington recalls having had with Rockstar in 2003, according to court documents posted with a report on IGN. Rockstar allegedly interviewed Washington about subjects like growing up around gangs and riding bicycles, and though he says he only recently found out about what goes on in “San Andreas,” he believes that Rockstar borrowed more than the abundance of bikes from his stories.
“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,” Washington’s complaint explains. “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.”
Washington wants $250 million of the game’s profits for what he believes to be acts of fraud, misappropriation of likeness and infringement.
Rockstar and Take-Two, of course, disagree and plan on fighting back in court. I was hoping to find some mention of real-life jetpack experimentation in the complaint, but unfortunately that dimension of San Andreas life doesn’t seem to be relevant to Washington’s accusations.
Do you think Washington has a case? How do you think this lawsuit will turn out? Share your reactions with us in the comment section below.