Lil Wayne claims $50 million in damages from unauthorized Sundance documentary

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Lil Wayne claims $50 million in damages from unauthorized Sundance documentary

Thu Apr 02, 2009 @ 06:37PM PST

By Eriq Gardner


Lilwayne Any rapper worth his lettuce has a healthy sense of pride.

Still, Lil Wayne takes the prize for his delusions of grandeur, as seen not in his lyrics but in a new lawsuit he has filed against the producers of a documentary that portrays the hip hop superstar's life. 

"The Carter" showed at the Sundance Film Festival this year, and Lil Wayne (born Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr.) wasn't pleased that he wasn't given "absolute final approval of the contents."

Here's the opening line of the lawsuit, complete with chutzpah we've seen only from the likes of Joe Francis:

Corporate greed and fraud reached its zenith in 2008. Bernard Madoff stole $56 billion dollars from unsuspecting victims. A prominent attorney pretended to be someone else and made off with $380 million dollars. Apparently not content to sit on the sidelines and see this brazen hustlers make off with all the money, Digerati Holdings, LLC decided it wanted to participate in its own massive con game.


Yes, folks, apparently those who would breach a contract with Lil Wayne are in the company of Bernie Madoff. The Lavely & Singer firm, known for its zealous representation of celebrities, has outdone itself.

In the lawsuit, filed on March 23 in Los Angeles Superior Court, Lil Wayne alleges that the defendants (which include Quincy Jones' son) entered into a written agreement in December 2007, whereby the rapper agreed to provide various services, archival photographs and video materials for a ninety-minute bio film on "one of the most prolific artists of this generation."

By the following December, Lil Wayne's posse had seen a version of the film and were objecting to some of the scenes. The film premiered at Sundance in January with the objectionable unapproved content. Lil Wayne says he has been damaged "in an amount not yet fully ascertainable but which is believed to be in excess of $50 million dollars."

He's also suing for invasion of breach of contract, privacy, fraud, misrepresentation, unfair business practice, and fair dealing. 

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The Hollywood Reporter
The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

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