N.W.A's manager Jerry Heller died in 2016, but his lawsuit against the makers of the hit Straight Outta Compton biopic lived on. But that saga is now over. A judge tossed out Heller's case against Universal for copyright infringement, saying that the attorneys representing the late manager's estate did little to establish that Heller had been wronged.
Heller's lawsuit kicked off in 2015, when he sued Universal for defamation and copyright infringement. The majority of the lawsuit was dismissed in 2016, when a judge ruled that notes from Heller's own memoir seem to point toward the events of the film actually happening. Though the judge admitted that the filmmakers' portrayed Heller in a "colorful and hyperbolic" fashion, he threw out most of the case.
The estate of Heller amended their complaint in September 2016, adding further claims of copyright infringement and suggesting that the film was based on a screenplay written in part by Heller.
That claim didn't have enough evidence, though, and U.S. District Judge Michael Fitzgerald ended up tossing out the remaining portions of the case on Friday, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
"[E]ven assuming Plaintiff could establish that there was an objective manifestation of intent to be co-authors, the TAC lacks any allegation that Heller exercised control over the Screenplay," he wrote. "Even assuming Plaintiff had alleged sufficient facts to establish statutory standing, as Defendants highlight, Plaintiff’s claim for copyright infringement must be dismissed because Plaintiff’s allegations establish that Universal was licensed to use the Screenplay by alleged co-authors Savidge, Wenkus, and Xenon."
Fitzgerald seemed weary from the case, writing that "the action is, at last, dismissed."