The legal troubles for chart-topping Atlanta-based rapper T.I. keep mounting, but his latest legal flap doesn't involve drugs, guns or illicit sex in a correctional facility.
T.I. — born Clifford Harris Jr. — now stands accused of disrespecting a dead man and his survivors for profit. According to several news sources, a lawsuit has just been filed against T.I. for using film footage of street-crime victim Joseph Williams as he lay in a casket before being cremated.
Footage of Williams' dead body was aired on a February 2009 episode of the MTV reality series T.I.'s Road to Redemption. The deceased is described as a "hustler" in the episode, which was titled, "You Are Responsible for Your Own Actions." T.I., now serving time in an Arkansas federal prison for various criminal acts and parole violations, appears on-screen showcasing Williams' body as a cautionary tale to youth.
Williams' family members contend that they suffered extreme emotional distress as a result of the episode, saying that the body was supposed to have been cremated and that the rapper and the network staged the filming for the sake of increased viewership and monetary gain. The family of the deceased is seeking unspecified damages from the rapper, MTV and the funeral home.
Read more at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
In other news: Shirley Sherrod to Andrew Breitbart: See You in Court.