A judge has given the okay for a lawsuit to go forward involving the movie Straight Outta Compton
After the film’s release last year, former N.W.A. manager Jerry Heller – who was portrayed in the flick by Paul Giamatti - filed a $110 million lawsuit against its producers and director.
Heller is depicted in the film as a bad guy who cheated the group out of royalties and made them sign unfair contracts without legal representation.
But Heller claims he was negatively and unfairly portrayed and was originally seeking punitive damages for defamation, copyright infringement and breach of contract.
Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and other defendants in the suit responded by filing an anti-SLAPP motion. Basically, this means that they are protected under First Amendment rights to use free speech and tell their story.
In a new development on June 29th the judge said that while he didn’t think the defamation charges would hold up in court, Heller can still proceed with the suit by trying to prove that the film’s producers and writers depicted him with malicious intent. He also dismissed the anti-SLAPP motion.