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Cypress Hill singer: I'm the real CJ

Is suing Rockstar for $250 million.

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Image credit: Eurogamer

A former backup singer for American Latino hip hop group Cypress Hill wants a whopping $250 million in damages from Rockstar and parent company Take-Two for allegedly using his likeness in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas without permission.

Michael "Shagg" Washington claims Rockstar modelled Carl "CJ" Johnson on his image after the developer met with him to chat about life on the mean streetz.

"The plaintiff, who had led a troubled life in his youth, responded to their questions and related details of his life," reads the complaint filed to the Los Angeles Superior Court (spotted by IGN).

"The plaintiff told them about details of his street life including how the teenagers 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."

Shagg claims Rockstar promised it would let him know if he was to be used as inspiration for the game. He didn't hear a peep. In 2004 Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was released to commercial and critical acclaim.

Now, six years later, Shagg's filed a lawsuit.

Apparently, he only found out about CJ and San Andreas after his nephew told him about it – in July this year.

"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 reads.

"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."

Now, Shagg wants $250 million - 25 per cent of the game's eye-watering total profit - for fraud and copyright infringement.

"It's hard to believe that the makers of a game that allows you to shoot at cops, pick up prostitutes, and run over pedestrians at will, would actually cheat somebody out of money, but this seems to be the case," Jeff Grotke, Shagg's lawyer, told IGN.

Take-Two said it will fight the case.

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