Jerry Heller Explains ‘Straight Outta Compton’ Lawsuit: It’s an ‘Inaccurate’ Movie
Since its August release, Straight Outta Compton has become one of the highest-grossing films by a black director with a worldwide box office gross of $200 million. While the N.W.A biopic garnered a slew of critical praise, the group’s former manager, Jerry Heller, is not a fan of the movie. He recently filed a $110 million defamation lawsuit against the producers of the film. The 75-year-old attorney-turned-mogul recently to Rolling Stone magazine why he filed the lawsuit.
In the Q&A interview, Heller explains that much of his portrayal in the film was completely false. Plus, he claims that the movie ruined his reputation. "Most of [the film] was inaccurate, or just out-and-out not true," he states.
Among the slew of inaccuracies Heller claims were in the movie, he includes Eazy-E firing him as being a major one. He says that's simply not true.
"I was with him until the day of his untimely death," he told RS. "I still think about him every day. He was like my son. He was a visionary. He was the greatest, and I've always believed that only he and I really understood the significance of what N.W.A was. The rest of the guys were like, 'Hey, we're going to be a big group, and we're going to make money.'"
Heller also denies Ice Cube's accusation that he never got paid while he was in N.W.A. The Ruthless Records co-founder insists that Cube did get paid his fair share as part of the group. "The deal was structured so that Ruthless got a little off the top, and the band split the rest equally," he said. "So they split $375,000 five ways, which is $75,000 apiece. That was an astronomical amount of money, and everybody signed their contracts except for Ice Cube."
He apparently wasn't contacted about how he was going to be portrayed in the film, which seems to bother Heller. "Nobody reached out to me. I didn't know what was in the movie," he said. "They knew what was in the movie. I didn't, until I saw it on the screen. Nobody from their camp ever reached out to me once to talk about, "Are you going to like this?" or anything else. I thought that was disrespectful. If that's the way they choose to do business, then that's why there's a lawsuit now."
Finally, Heller denies ever having a lobster brunch. “I don’t eat brunch or lunch. I have never had a lobster brunch in my life," he says. "So once again, it’s just trying to make me look bad. That’s all."
While all of this seems trivial at its surface, we hope that both parties involved in the lawsuit can settle this case amicably.
What do you think of Jerry Heller suing the producers of Straight Outta Compton? Tell us in the comments below.