Cypress Hill singer sues Rockstar over San Andreas likeness use

Thursday, 9th December 2010 08:58 GMT By Johnny Cullen

San Andreas

Amazing. Just amazing.

Cypress Hill singer Michael “Shagg” Washington is suing Rockstar over claims the company used his likeness without permission for the lead character of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Carl “CJ” Johnson.

The game came out six years ago on PlayStation 2 with an Xbox and PC release in 2005, but Washington says he didn’t know about his likeness being used for the game until earlier this summer. The full complaint mentioned he consulted with Rockstar on the game about “street life” in 2003.

“The plaintiff, who had led a troubled life in his youth, responded to their questions and related details of his life,” the report read.

“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 was told by Rockstar he would be notified if he was included in the game. He didn’t hear anything back if that was the case, but only found out about San Andreas from his nephew in July.

“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.”

It continues: “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.”

Washington wants $250 million – 25 percent of GTA: San Andreas’ profits – from Rockstar for infringement, fraud and misappropriation.

Take Two said it will fight the case.

“The Company believes the lawsuit is completely without merit and will vigorously defend itself in the matter,” it told IGN.



  1. slayernl

    I´ll bet he got a great deal last black Friday on that ps2 :P.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. anjin

    Brilliantly mental

    Just the 25% of the profits? Why not 100%? I mean if you’re going to be this outrageous why not go the whole hog!

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Johnny Cullen

    I’m replaying San Andreas right now on my 360 via the Originals version (PS2 copies are broke, and I CBA to pull out my PS2 anyways).

    Still the same fantastic game it was six years ago.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Blerk

    No wonder he’s mad!

    #4 4 years ago
  5. StolenGlory

    All homeboys look the same to me.


    #5 4 years ago
  6. Captain Fruitloop

    “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.”

    What, the Hausers and R* are now so powerful that they’ve got powers of arrest and detainment?

    What a fanny.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. tdrules

    someone’s royalties are running dry…

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Moonwalker1982

    I know all about Cypress Hill and i have no idea who this dude is. Apparently he is a backup singer, i googled the dude but i honestly have no fucking clue who he is. So i wouldn’t say he is from Cypress Hill. Cause they just consist of only a few peeps.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Captain Fruitloop

    Anyway, isn’t the CJ Carl Johnson main character in GTA: SA blatantly based on 50 Cent, real name Curtis Jackson? iirc, they even tried to get 50 Cent to do the voice acting for CJ.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. Uncontested

    this douche doesnt deserve a dime

    #10 4 years ago
  11. freedoms_stain

    ROFL @ ludicrous claim.

    I can just picture the hearing. Judge squinting at 2 pictures for 5 minutes.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Dralen

    I wanted to say something, but you guys have pretty much said it all.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Badger

    Defence: Have you, Mr. Washington, ever broken into Area 51 to steal a jet pack?

    Mr. Washington: errr….

    Defence: I rest my case

    #13 4 years ago
  14. theevilaires

    Wow just bull crap at its finest. GTA SA is one of the biggest games of all time. How he just realize something this late and now wants to sue is shit. I their music and all but this guy is clearly trying to cash in on false BS.

    But hey its the American way to sue for anything now. I hope he doesn’t win.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. polygem

    great game with a great story. but as far as i recall it theres nothing that deep or unique storywise to really connect it to the real life of one single person (just like 13 said…). there could be millions of people that feel related to this “lifestyle”. no chance for him to convince the court. even if it would be true. he should just write a song about it and not act like a total desperate, broke slave to money. no respect from me.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. Klarden

    Who the fuck is Michael “Shagg” Washington and what does he have to do with Cypress Hill? I don’t know anyone in Cypress with this name

    #16 4 years ago
  17. DarkElfa

    I went 20 pages into Google search with his name and the only articles mentioning his name were about this lawsuit.

    “…and den he slapped all 3 of us like da 3 stooges ya honah, 12 million!”

    #17 4 years ago
  18. joshua nash

    okay, sounds to me like somebody was going through spotlight withdrawl and decided to sue a game company over teh fact that an artist rendition of Big Smoke looks like him

    #18 4 years ago
  19. Moonwalker1982

    @ 16 , exactly..i was surprised too. There’s nobody in that band with that name. Wtf.

    #19 4 years ago

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