Backup Singer Claims to be Real CJ, Sues Rockstar

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Some interesting news. Apparently a backup singer for the group Cypress Hill named Michael "Shagg" Washington is suing Rockstar Games (and in turn, Take-Two) because he says the character CJ from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was based on his life.

IGN reports:
"The complaint, filed Monday in a Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges the developers created the character Carl 'CJ' Johnson in the game using his image and life story. Washington says he met with Rockstar in 2003 to talk about street life for the upcoming game.

'The plaintiff, who had led a troubled life in his youth, responded to their questions and related details of his life,' the complaint reads. 'The plaintiff told them about details of his street life including how the teen-agers in his gang rode around on bicycles'

'After almost two hours of questioning which covered many topics of gang and street life, the meeting ended and the plaintiff was allowed to leave.' Washington said he was told he'd be notified if Rockstar used him in the game. He claims he never heard back."

Somehow the best-selling game never made it to the hands of Shagg until he recently saw it (6 years later) and found it to be his likeness as described to Rockstar in the meeting.

"'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,' the complaint says. '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.'

'Upon examination of images of 'CJ' and comparison to his photos from that year and other evidence, it became clear that Rockstar had stolen his image and never paid him.'"

So how much does Shagg want? a cool $250 million - for fraud, misappropriation of likeness, and infringement. Of course Take-Two isn't just going to hand over the dough. "The Company believes the lawsuit is completely without merit and will vigorously defend itself in the matter," a representative said in a statement given to IGN.

[PDF file of lawsuit]

Just another person in line to poke Rockstar and Take-Two with a lawsuit. Will he win? Will it settle out of court? Will Dan Houser be able to sleep at night? Stay tuned!