Suge Knight wants 30 percent of the $1 billion Dr. Dre earned when he sold Beats to Apple -- and he's not only suing to get it, he's claiming the iconic producer has tried to have him killed to avoid paying.
"Marion 'Suge' Knight's murder trial has been shrouded in much mystery. This cross-complaint reveals why," writes Knight's attorney Thaddeus L. Culpepper in a countersuit filed Tuesday.
The complaint is in response to a wrongful death lawsuit filed against Knight, along with Universal, Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, after a man was run over by Knight's pickup truck and killed on the set of Straight Outta Compton.
On the night Terry Carter was hit and killed, Knight claims two other men, Cle Sloan and Jimmy Chris, charged his vehicle and were both armed. The way Knight tells it, he was driving erratically while trying to escape and didn't realize Carter had fallen in his path.
Knight claims Dre (Andre Young) is not only responsible for that incident -- at a Compton spot locals refer to as "Murder Burger" -- but also an August 2014 Hollywood club attack during which Knight was shot in the abdomen seven times.
According to the complaint, the attacks aren't just about beef -- they're about cheddar. When Dre and Knight ended their business relationship in the '90s, Knight claims a lifetime management agreement entitled him to 30 percent of Dre's earnings in perpetuity.
Knight claims he is owed that percentage on Dre's $3 billion sale of Beats to Apple and his profit share from Compton. He also claims Universal and Apple helped Dre avoid including Knight in those deals because they feared having his name attached would be bad for their brands.
According to the complaint, Sloan was hired as a technical advisor to "handle the Suge Knight problem" and hired 100 gang members for security. "Universal was at least aware that part of Sloan's tactics in addressing the Knight dilemma would involve armed assault," writes Culpepper.
Knight is suing for intentional interference with contract, conversion and assault and battery, among other claims.
Dre's attorney Howard King issued a statement Monday (Oct. 24) in response to the suit: "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 has not yet commented in response to the countersuit.
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.