Michael “Shagg” Washington, a model and back-up singer/performer for rap group Cypress Hill, has filed a lawsuit against Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive alleging the companies appropriated his image for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the Playstation 2 videogame released in October 2004. According to court documents filed by Washington’s lawyer in California on Monday, Washington met with a group of young videogame developers in January 2003 to discuss possible participation in a future videogame. The developers spent two hours asking Washington about “street life,” and he told them details about his “troubled youth.”
Washington signed no contract, and was never contacted by the developers again. In 2010, his young nephew informed him of his similarity to CJ, the main character in GTA: San Andreas. Washington’s suit claims that the GTA developers are guilty of copyright infringement and fraud, and is demanding $250 million in compensation.