Rick Ross’ long standing legal battle to keep his rap name “Rick Ross” has now come to an end after a California appeals court ruled in favor of the Maybach Music boss.
Ross, real name William Leonard Roberts II, was sued by convicted drug kingpin Freeway Ricky Ross for $10 million, citing his name was stolen and exploited it for personal gain. The case was later dismissed (March 2013), but Freeway refiled in an appeals court, only to see the judge uphold the previous ruling.
Judge Roger Boren’s ruling states:
“Roberts created a celebrity identity, using the name Rick Ross, of a cocaine kingpin turned rapper. He was not simply an impostor seeking to profit solely off the name and reputation of Rick Ross. Rather, he made music out of fictional tales of dealing drugs and other exploits – some of which related to plaintiff. Using the name and certain details of an infamous criminal's life as basic elements, he created original artistic works.”
Freeway Rick Ross was incarcerated for 13 years for his part in a cocaine empire in the 1980s and 1990s. He was released from jail in 2009.