Script for Tupac Shakur biopic peddled in celebrity hacking case
The film’s script was among those allegedly peddled by a Bahamian man who was arrested for hacking celebrities’ email accounts
A production company behind an upcoming biopic about hip hop artist Tupac Shakur acknowledged on Wednesday that the film’s script was among those allegedly peddled by a Bahamian man who was arrested for hacking celebrities’ email accounts.
Alonzo Knowles, 23, is being held without bail after a Tuesday appearance in Manhattan federal court on criminal copyright infringement and identity theft charges.
Among the information that Knowles allegedly hacked was a recently finished script for “All Eyez On Me,” a biopic of Shakur, who died in a 1996 shooting, according to Greg Mielcarz, executive vice president of marketing and publicity at Los Angeles-based Morgan Creek Productions, the studio making the biopic.
The film stars Demetrius Shipp Jr as Shakur.
Earlier this month, Knowles offered to sell a popular radio host “a script for an upcoming hip hop artist biopic movie…once it is completed at the end of the month,” according to a criminal complaint filed against Knowles on Tuesday.
Knowles later tried to sell the script to an undercover agent, according to the complaint, which said Knowles showed the script to the undercover agent but did not actually give it to him.
The undercover agent struck a deal with Knowles to buy scripts and other information, ultimately leading to Knowles’ arrest.
Prosecutors, in the complaint, did not identify the celebrities, movies or scripts involved in the case.
Mielcarz confirmed the identity of the Shakur biopic script in response to an inquiry by Reuters.
A spokeswoman for Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara declined to comment. A lawyer for Knowles could not be immediately reached for comment.
Knowles kept at least 130 celebrities’ emails and phone numbers and noted that his victims included movie and TV actors, a casting director, a popular singer-songwriter and a hip-hop artist, the complaint said.