Shawn 'Jay-Z' Carter and his business partner Damon Dash have been sued by an author who claimed they ripped him off over the idea for 'State Property'.
Philadelphia based Antonne Jones has accused the pair of using his novel 'The Family: A Philadelphia Story' as the backdrop for their modestly successful 2002 film 'State Property'.
According to court documents filed earlier this month in New York's Manhattan Federal Court, Jones was approached in 1998 by the pair's record label Roc-A-Fella over using the rights to the film. At that time, Jones requested $500,000, but received an offer of $50,000 instead from the rap media company.
The author claims he never heard from Roc-A-Fella again until the film was released in 2002, starring Beanie Sigel as a member of a rap collective which attempts to take over Philadelphia's illegal drugs trade.
He is seeking $15 million in damages from Carter, Damon Dash and the movie's distributors, Lions Gate. State Property took around $2 million at the box office following its winter '02 release.