Marion “Suge” Knight, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and others involved in the N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton have been named in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the widow of a man who died after Knight allegedly hit him with his pickup truck, The Associated Press reports.
While only Knight has been charged with a crime in the case — he faces life in prison if convicted of murder — Lilian Carter, the widow of Terry Carter, accused Universal Studios of being negligent on several fronts that supposedly led to the incident.
First, the suit claims, Straight Outta Compton continued to film in Compton, California after Dr. Dre warned production members to keep Knight away from the set (the hip-hop mogul has been feuding with the Death Row Records founder for years). Second, Universal hired Cle “Bone” Sloan — an advisor who allegedly helped broker deals with local gangs so the film could shoot on-location — whose fight with Knight led to the hit-and-run.
Representatives for Ice Cube and Dr. Dre declined to comment, though Howard King, Dre’s lawyer, told The AP that the charges were “preposterous.” Representatives for Lilian Carter did not immediately reply to requests for comment.
The complaint reads: “This lawsuit concerns the tragic tale of how reckless corporate greed, disguised as the quest for authenticity, [led] to a foreseeable altercation that resulted in the death of a successful businessman.”
“Mr. Knight denies any liability whatsoever,” Knight’s attorney Tom Mesereau tells Rolling Stone. “He was defending himself at all times.”
Knight is currently scheduled to stand trial on charges of murder, attempted murder and a hit-and-run; he is being held on a $25 million bail. The incident took place on January 29th following an argument between Knight, Sloan and Carter; Knight then allegedly followed Carter and Sloan to a fast-food restaurant where he hit them with his red pickup truck.
Despite sustaining various injuries, Sloan refused to identify Knight during a preliminary hearing. He told a judge he’d only shown up in court because he had been subpoenaed. Though he admitted to being the aggressor in the preceding fight, Sloan claimed he did not remember any specifics, and he did not want to be a “snitch.”
Knight’s attorney, Matt Fletcher, recently filed a motion to dismiss the murder charges, citing a lack of evidence and the fact that Sloan never identified his client. If the judge overseeing the case denies Fletcher’s call for dismissal, the trial is scheduled to begin July 7th.