A lawsuit has been filed against Rockstar and parent Take-Two for allegedly using a musician’s likeness without his consent.
Michael ‘Shagg’ Washingston, previous backup singer of rap group Cypress Hill has filed a legal complaint against the firms over Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas’ central character.
Washington claims Carl ‘CJ’ Johnson was based on him after interviews with Rockstar in 2003.
The complaint states: “The plaintiff, who had led a troubled life in his youth, responded to their questions and related details of his life. He told them about how the teenagers in his gang rode around on bicycles.
“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. 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 claims Rockstar never let him know he was going to be used in the game, and that the publisher used his image and life story without his consent.
He is demanding 25 percent of the game’s $250m profits for fraud, misappropriation of likeness and copyright infringement.
San Andreas was released in 2004 on PS2 before arriving on Xbox and PC.
Take-Two has responded in a statement to IGN which read: “The company believes the lawsuit is completely without merit and will vigorously defend itself in the matter.”
A full copy of the complaint has also been uploaded to the internet.