J. Prince Sues BET, Apple Over ‘American Gangster’

Rap-A-Lot Records CEO James “J. Prince” Prince is at the center of a new civil lawsuit over defamatory statements made during the promotion and sale of a recent episode of the hit BET series American Gangster.


The 13-page lawsuit, which was recently filed in the Southern District Court of Texas, stems from a photograph of Prince, Rap-A-Lot employee Thomas Randle and alleged Gangster Disciples boss Larry Hoover.


The picture was shown at least three times during the advertising and marketing of the American Gangster episode featuring Hoover, which aired on Oct. 10, 2007.


Prince and Randle claim that the episode gave the impression that they were complicit in the involvement of criminal activities attributed to Hoover, which included alleged murders.


In addition to BET, Apple and Viacom and BET were named as defendants in the suit, which stated that the companies used Prince’s and Randle’s images without their permission and refused to pull the episode or modify the content to protect the identities of the men.


In addition, Randall and Prince claim Apple et. al. have acted with reckless disregard by airing the episode on BET and its continued sale via iTunes.


American Gangster chronicles the rise and fall of the country’s most notorious Black criminals.


The series, which reaches 1.3 million households, has about 1.7 million total viewers and is available via Apple’s iTunes Store.


Prince’s lawsuit comes as misdemeanor assault charges against him were recently upgraded to felonious aggravated assault.


The charges are in connection to a lawsuit filed in April by Ronald “Ronnie” Bookman, the owner of recording studio 7303.


Bookman accuses Prince of masterminding an attack on him that took place around that time.


If convicted, the rap mogul could face up to 10 years in prison. Prince and Randle seek general and punitive damages.

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