The continuing saga of Suge Knight’s murder trial has taken another turn, with the former rap impresario issuing a lawsuit demanding around $300m (£245m) from Dr Dre and alleging that his former protege has tried to have him killed to avoid paying money owed.
The suit – waved away by Dre’s attorney Howard King – is a response to a wrongful death lawsuit filed against Knight, Dre, Ice Cube and Universal Music. That case was brought by Lilian Carter, the widow of Terry Carter, who was run over and killed by Knight’s truck during filming of the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton. Knight also faces a murder charge for Terry Carter’s death.
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“Marion ‘Suge’ Knight’s murder trial has been shrouded in much mystery. This cross complaint reveals why,” wrote Knight’s attorney, Thaddeus L Culpepper, in the new complaint. Knight claims Dre was responsible for the incident in which Carter was killed, claiming he was trying to escape men who were trying to kill him. He also claims Dre was behind a gun attack in a Hollywood club in August 2014, in which Knight was shot multiple times.
The reason for Dre’s alleged animus, Knight claims, is that when Knight and Dre ended their business relationship in 1996, Dre agreed to a lifetime management agreement, entitling Knight to 30% of Dre’s earnings for the rest of his career. The fresh suit is claiming that percentage of Dre’s income from the $3bn sale of headphone company Beats to Apple, and his profits from Straight Outta Compton.
The suit claims that Cle Sloan – one of two people Knight alleges tried to attack him on the night Carter was killed – was hired to “handle the Suge Knight problem” on Straight Outta Compton, and he in turn brought in 100 gang members as security.
According to Rolling Stone, Howard King, acting for Dre, said in a statement: “Given that Dre has had zero interaction with Suge since leaving Death Row Records in 1996, we hope that Suge’s lawyer has lots of malicious-prosecution insurance.”
Universal Music as reportedly not yet responded to the latest legal action.