Cypress Hill star fails in $250m Grand Theft Auto lawsuit

Michael "Shagg" Washington has failed in effort to sue to Take-Two regarding the alleged use of his likeness in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Washington, who as well as being a model was also a backing singer for US hip-hop group Cypress Hill, had argued that that San Andreas star CJ was fashioned on him, The Hollywood Reporter states.

So upset was he that he moved to sue Take-Two for a massive $250m in damages. His case hinged on a meeting in 2003 in which his discussed his former involvement in street gangs with San Andreas’ developers. He also appeared in the game’s credits.

But having already been thrown out of court by a judge once, the Californian court of appeal has backed the decision, concluding that Washington had not sufficiently demonstrated that he was the CJ character.

"Plaintiff is relying entirely on CJ’s physical appearance in the game, but that appearance is so generic that it necessarily includes hundreds of other black males, the judge stated"

Music stars have a mixed history when it comes to suing games publishers. No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani successfully sued Activision over the use of her likeness in Band Hero, Dee-Lite’s lead singer Lady Miss Kier failed in her efforts to convince courts that Sega had ripped off her likeness in music title Space Channel 5.

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