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Cypress Hill backup vocalist sues Grand Theft Auto publisher

on December 14, 2010, 5:29pm

We’re willing to bet the majority of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas players had little more than a vicarious relationship with the events of the game. At least one guy — who’s never played the game — claims to be a little too familiar with the story. A model and Cypress Hill backup singer named Michael “Shagg” Washington is suing the developer Rockstar Games, owned by Take Two Interactive, because he claims the main character Carl “CJ” Johnson is based on his life (via Stereogum).

Washington says the GTA designers interviewed him in 2003, learning about his experience around gangs and riding bicycles (characters ride bikes around the ‘hood at the beginning of the game). According to the lawsuit, Shagg’s nephew told him about the game, and he came to the realization that CJ bore quite the resemblance to him. He is claiming $250 million (a quarter of the billion dollars the game supposedly made, according to Techdirt) in damages for “fraud, misappropriation of likeness and infringement.”

You might remember that Cypress Hill’s “How I Could Just Kill a Man” is featured on one of the in-game radio stations, but you might not remember that Shagg is listed as “talent” in the game’s official credits. Not listed? Eric “Eazy-E” Wright. Just to put things in perspective.

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