Less than one month after his alleged involvement in an assault on two men at a Lanham, Maryland, hip-hop radio station, Compton rapper and former G-Unit clique member the Game was formally charged with assault and battery. The charges were filed on February 14 by Prince George's County prosecutors, who'd been investigating the incident.
The Game's legal woes don't end there, though. Late last week, Stephanie Moran and Gregory Watson, lawyers for alleged victim Kwasi Jones, filed a civil action naming the Game (whose real name is Jayceon Taylor), rapper 50 Cent and the record labels of Dr. Dre (Aftermath Entertainment) and Eminem (Shady Records), seeking $280 million in damages for not only the assault, but intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence.
The suit stems from a January 21 incident at radio station WKYS, where Jones claims the Game and his 20-person entourage attacked him and one of the station's DJs, Richard Dunkerson. The suit claims the attack was triggered by remarks Dunkerson made about a mobile-phone earpiece the rapper's manager was using (see "Game Allegedly Assaults Radio DJ; Rapper's Compton Properties Shot Up ").
According to the lawsuit, Jones' claim of emotional distress relates to a remix of 50 Cent's hit "Hate It or Love It," which features the Game. Jones alleges that the Game is bragging about the incident in the lyric, "I'm rap's MVP/ Don't make me remind y'all what happened in D.C."
The suit also charges that the Game has profited substantially from the assault on Jones.
"As our lawsuit points out, it's based on the fact that a lot of these record labels and rappers pride themselves on careers based on street credibility," said Jones' lawyer Stephanie Moran. "Their records sell more when they do something in the public eye that gives street credibility to their image. Clearly, putting lyrics in the song regarding this incident helped sell records. Artists should not be able to profit from alleged incidents where people are physically harmed."
While Jones is still seeking medical treatment, Moran would not comment on the extent of his injuries. She said that her client was treated by emergency-room personnel the night of the attack. Jones, according to the suit, was choked into unconsciousness by one of the Game's entourage.
Just days after the incident, a spokesperson for the Prince George's County Police Department told MTV News that an investigation into the alleged assault was underway, but refused to provide any further information.
The Game is due to appear in court for a hearing on June 20, to answer to the criminal charges.
Calls to the Game's camp were not returned by press time.