Clifford “T.I.” Harris is on his road to redemption… somewhere chillin’ in a minimum security facility studying his dictionary, but that doesn’t mean he can’t face a lawsuit out here in the real world.
The relatives of Joseph Williams, a deceased man whose body was filmed in Atlanta and shown on the T.I.’s MTV reality show, have filed a lawsuit against Tip, complaining that the airing of the corpse on television was disrespectful and done without their consent.
This can’t be good. Details below:
The lawsuit was filled in Fulton County State Court last Wednesday (February 9, 2011) and alleges that the deceased man’s father, Joseph Williams Sr., and other relatives suffered mental distress after footage of his body was shown in a February 2009 episode of the MTV reality show “T.I’s Road to Redemption.”
The premise of the reality show was to scare misled youths into leading crime-free lives.
Haugabrooks Funeral Home on Auburn Avenue near downtown Atlanta is listed among the defendants and according to the lawsuit, a funeral home employee made a false statement, “stating that the parents didn’t know what happened to their son.”
The company was paid to cremate the body, however it was shown in the “Road to Redemption” episode fully clothed and lying in a casket.
The episode, entitled “You Are Responsible For Your Own Actions,” shows Tip giving advice to PeeWee, a young man who he hopes will change his drug dealing ways, the two visit the corpse at the funeral home.
A mortician in the episode describes the deceased man as a “hustler” and says his parents don’t know how he really died. The face of the dead man is out of focus in the video.
The lawsuit contends that Harris, the funeral home, MTV and the others involved in the making of the video “carelessly mishandled” the body “for financial gain and publicity.”
It seeks unspecified damages for mental pain and suffering and emotional distress.