LOS ANGELES (CN) - Former Fugees rapper Pras Michel disguised himself as a fellow Skid Row denizen to secretly act as the "star" in a documentary about homeless life, three homeless people claim in Superior Court.
Michelle Hassan, Wesley Bolden and Terrell Brown say Michel's actions made the plaintiffs' experience of homelessness, already characterized by "dehumanization and sadness," even tougher. Though the plaintiffs lived in tents and other "meager" dwellings in Los Angeles' Skid Row area, the group says they still expected privacy at home. The plaintiffs tried to "shield their families...from the dire nature of their circumstances." But Michel pretended to be one of them, gained their trust, and surreptitiously filmed those circumstances over a period of 10 years. Michel and Screen Media Films produced "Skidrow," a movie the plaintiffs' families can now watch.
Michelle Hassan and Wesley Bolden have apparently made it off the streets.
The plaintiffs want a declaration affirming their claim that they never approved Michel's use of their images, along with the movie's profits. They are represented by Sanford Jossen.