Damon ‘I Want My Money’ Dash Sues Lee Daniels For $5M Over Richard Pryor Biopic

Written by Dana Sanchez


Damon Dash, the co-founder of Jay-Z’s Roc-a-Fella records, confronted filmmaker Lee Daniels of “Precious” and “Empire” fame at a Diana Ross concert last weekend in Los Angeles in a recorded public display that dramatized the bad blood between them.

Dash says he had an agreement with Daniels years ago that entitled him to profits from Daniels’ future projects. Now Dash says he’s owed money from a planned Richard Pryor biopic and he has filed a $5 million lawsuit to get paid, The Blast reported.

The film, “Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said?” has been in development for “a very long time,” CinemaBlend reported — back in 2015. It will showcase the life of the comedian, and stars Mike Epps, Oprah Winfrey, Eddie Murphy and Kate Hudson.

The lawsuit claims that Daniels promised Dash credit as an executive producer for the film and 5 percent of Daniels’ backend profits. Daniels later allegedly abandoned the project and his promises to Dash, according to the Daily Beast.

IMDb lists the film’s status as “unknown.”

Dash reposted on Instagram a shortened version of his video recording showing his interactions with Daniels. He gave details in a long caption. He claims that he lent Daniels $2 million to help finance Daniels’ “dream of being a director,” adding that Daniels promised to return the money within months, but disappeared for a while before returning to make “The Butler” and “Empire.” Dash said he was not repaid and now he’s asking for $5 million dollars in a lawsuit.

“Why does this dude feel like he doesn’t have to pay me?…why do I have to look crazy to get my money back…or go to court…ask @theoriginalbigdaddy why he doesn’t feel like he has to pay me even though he has it…” — Damon Dash

Dash accused Daniels of being the “true definition of a culture vulture  @culturevultures_book … eats off the culture but Robs the culture at the same time… see you back in court Lee your gonna pay me what you owe.”

This isn’t the first time Dash and Daniels appeared to be headed to court. In 2014, Dash sued Daniels for $25 million over a dispute involving the ownership rights to “Precious”, “The Butler” and the TV show “Empire”, Daily Beast reported. Dash claims he loaned Daniels $2 million in 2004 in exchange for rights to certain films.

Dash thinks Daniels made the agreement in 2015 to get the 2014 lawsuit for $25 million dismissed, according to Daily Beast. Now Dash wants $5 million and his co-executive-producer credit on the Pryor deal.


Damon Dash
Photo by: Walter Weissman/starmaxinc.com (NYC) (Star Max via AP Images)