TMZ is accused of defaming a man, by wrongfully naming him as the rapper who cut his penis off and jumped out of an apartment window. Marques Johnson filed a lawsuit against the website over a 2014 story where he was misidentified as alleged Wu-Tang affiliated rhymer, Christ Bearer.
Marques Johnson, a hip-hop artist known as Andre Roxx, who once was associated with the Wu Tang Clan affiliated outfit Killa Beez, has brought a defamation lawsuit against TMZ over an April 2014 article.
The story in question reported that a “rapper affiliated with Wu-Tang Clan was rushed to the hospital early Wednesday after he cut off his penis and then jumped off a second story balcony.”
Johnson says he was first tagged by TMZ as the rapper who did that, before a rewritten story reflected that it was another guy — Christ Bearer.
“TMZ’s original, inaccurate story immediately spread across the Internet and to television and radio news,” states a complaint filed Wednesday in Delaware federal court
.Johnson says the story was quickly picked up by BET.com (which reported the rapper who cut off his penis as “Andre Johnson, who spits under the name Christ Bearer and Andre Roxx) USA Today (which reported “Johnson, also known as Andre Roxx and Christ Bearer”), the television show Extra, Radio One, the New York Daily News, Urban Daily and Barstool Sports.
After the story was reported, Wu-Tang immediately distanced themselves from the actual penis chopping rapper. TMZ quietly changed the story with no note of an actual name retraction. As a result, Marques Johnson’s stage name (Andre Roxx) spread through the media.