Looks like TMZ might have made a real dick move, and they could be paying for it.
TMZ Productions has been hit with a lawsuit filed by a rapper who claims that TMZ falsely reported that he had cut off his penis.
The suit was filed by Marques Johnson, who goes by the nom-du-rap Andre Roxx, and is affiliated with the hip-hop collective Wu-Tang Clan via his membership in the Killa Beez.
According to Johnson, TMZ published a report in April 2014 that Johnson “was rushed to the hospital early Wednesday after he cut off his penis and then jumped off a second story balcony.” However, the suit contends, the rapper who de-junked himself was actually Christ Bearer, also affiliated with the Wu-Tang Clan.
The lawsuit says that the two “did not bear a physical resemblance at the time of the incident” and their ages are separated by more than a decade. The complaint notes, however, that both rappers have the last name Johnson. Which could explain the confusion, and lead to a lot of penis jokes.
The alleged mix-up has led to a host of problems for Andre Roxx, the suit says. The rapper, who was incarcerated at the time of the report, was forced to go into protective custody “because other inmates began threatening, harassing and attacking him,” according to the complaint.
Roxx also says that his association with the story has damaged his music career, and “has made it exceedingly difficult for Plaintiff to earn a living even outside ot the music industry.”
He also claims that he’s gone so far as to disguise himself before going out in public.
The lawsuit claims that TMZ rewrote the story to correct the mistaken identification, but never issued a retraction and didn’t reference the fact that the post had been corrected in the rewrite.
A spokesperson for TMZ has not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.
The suit also names Warner Bros. Entertainment, along with a host of outlets that picked up the story.
Alleging libel and false light invasion of privacy, the suit is seeking unspecified damages.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.