According to the Hollywood Reporter, hip-hop artist Marques Johnson—better known as Andre Roxx—is bringing a lawsuit against TMZ for wrongly identifying him as the man who cut off his penis and jumped from a second-story balcony in April 2014.
TMZ later corrected the story, naming a different Wu Tang-affiliated Johnson—Andre "Christ Bearer" Johnson—as the man who committed the act, but not before a slew of different media sites—like BET.com, Extra, and USA Today— aggregated the original story. In light of the major media coverage of this wrongful identification, Marques Johnson is also including parent companies Warner Bros., Viacom, and Gannet as TMZ's codefendants in the defamation lawsuit.
Marques Johnson, who was in prison when the news broke, claims he was "forced into protective custody" because of harassment by fellow inmates over the story. When he was released in June 2015, he says the negative press he received as a result of the story interfered with his music career.
Christ Bearer, the man who actually severed his own penis, criticized the media for their coverage of the incident, telling VICE back in October 2016, "Unfortunately, we live in an era where the media see the mentally ill as a circus act. Rather than wishing me a speedy recovery, they harassed me constantly and did their best to try and mentally break me."