Many were shocked this morning to learn that Jerry Heller (pictured left), the former manager of the iconic West Coast rap group N.W.A, had died. Though he was 75, Heller's attorney has stepped forward to claim that it was anxiety over his portrayal in the film Straight Outta Compton the depicted the rise and fall of the N.W.A that led to his death.
"Jerry Heller was so distraught over the way he was portrayed in 'Straight Outta Compton' it ultimately killed him," TMZ reports Heller's lawyer Mickey Shapiro said. TMZ added, "ever since the movie came out painting Jerry as nothing but a crook, the former N.W.A. manager has been under a tremendous amount of stress. In fact—Shapiro says things were so bad—Jerry barely slept and was "heart broken" over the entire thing."
From Shapiro's view, "the heart attack was brought on by the stress from the film and tells us, 'Jerry Heller would be alive today if not for that movie.'" Heller is believed to have had a heart attack while driving his car, which later crashed.
It's a bold claim to make, and one that surely won't sit too well with the surviving members of N.W.A, especially Ice Cube who has had a decades long feud with Heller and recorded the vicious diss track "No Vaseline" about the businessman. In an interview last year with Rolling Stone, Heller said that while the film was "a powerful, well-done movie," he also called it "dishonest" and "inaccurate, or just out-and-out not true." He added, "I call the movie revisionist history, like something invented by Joe Stalin, just saying whatever you want. Well, I don't think that you can do that. I'm just not a victim."
Heller later sued the filmmakers for a reported $110 million.