The family of late drug lord Pablo Escobar has filed a lawsuit against rapper 2 Chainz over his Georgia eateries, Escobar Restaurant and Tapas and Escobar Restaurant and Tapas South.
Besides 2 Chainz, Atlanta’s Dillard Hospitality Group and its owner, Mychel Dillard “Snoop,” are named as defendants in the case, which was submitted to a California federal court. Digital Music News secured an exclusive copy of the legal filing, which demanded monetary damages of “an amount not less than $10,000,000.00.”
Escobar, Inc., a Puerto Rico company with offices in California, maintains that 2 Chainz and his associates “use the image, likeness, identity and celebrity persona of Pablo Escobar to generate traffic and sales” for their restaurants.
Both Escobar Restaurant locations’ web presences and interiors profit off the image of Escobar, per the complaint. Everything from “paintings of Pablo Escobar” featured on the establishments’ walls and menu items including — but not limited to — “Escobar crabcakes” and “Escobar cobb [salad]” infringe upon the celebrity of the late Colombian, according to the plaintiffs.
Lastly, the legal document takes aim at the Escobar-themed merchandise sold by Escobar Restaurant, which also features the Colombian drug kingpin’s likeness. For reference, Pablo Escobar was worth an estimated $30 billion at the time of his death – the equivalent of more than $53 billion in 2020 currency.
Roberto Escobar, the 73-year-old brother of Pablo Escobar and the longtime Medellin Cartel accountant, founded Escobar, Inc., and has been legally active during his time at the head of the brand.
In 2016, he sent Netflix a firmly worded (and all-caps) letter regarding its Narcos series, which is based on the life of Pablo Escobar. In the correspondence, Roberto requested that the video-streaming platform “share some profits,” besides signaling that “my brother [Pablo] would not have liked season 1 [of Narcos].”
Roberto Escobar has also taken issue with Tesla co-founder Elon Musk’s “Not a Flamethrower,” stating that he conceived its design and is entitled to $100 million in cash or Tesla stock. Musk has denied the accusation.
At the time of this writing, 2 Chainz hadn’t publicly responded to the lawsuit, which arrives just weeks after police shut down one of his businesses for allegedly violating Georgia’s social-distancing guidelines.