Several current and former city officials of Detroit filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Dr. Dre, Magic Johnson, AOL Time Warner, Best Buy and Panavision, all who partook in the production, distribution or selling of the Up In Smoke DVD. The suit alleges their privacy was invaded during the creation of the film.
In a statement, the lawsuit claims that “a hidden camera and microphones were secretly used to intercept, eavesdrop upon and record” conversations between tour organizers and the officials.
In the summer of 2000, Up in Smoke, featuring Dre, Eminem, Snoop Dog and an assortment of affiliated artists, performed in Detroit and Auburn. Both cities officials threatened to arrest the performers if they showed a sexually explicit tape during the show. Dr. Dre later sued and was awarded a cash settlement of $25,000 and an apology for violating his right to free speech.
One particular exchange between the city officials and tour coordinators in a back room became a bonus track on the Up In Smoke DVD.
“What would you do if somebody took your image and put it on a T-shirt or a product and started making millions of dollars off it without your consent?” attorney Glenn Oliver told the Detroit Free Press. Herschel Fink, Dr. Dres lawyer, called the charges “comic.”