There are reports this morning that former Rockstar North president Leslie Benzies is suing Rockstar for $150 Million Dollars. Benzies claims that he was “enticed by Rockstar” to take a sabbatical following the launch of Grand Theft Auto V. He now claims that this was a ploy to push him out of the company and that he has uncovered evidence of numerous prior attempts to do so.
Rockstar has issued the below statement about the lawsuit:
“Leslie Benzies was a valued employee of our company for many years. Sadly, the events that culminated in his resignation ultimately stem from his significant performance and conduct issues. Despite our repeated efforts to address and resolve these issues amicably both before and after his departure, Leslie has chosen to take this route in an attempt to set aside contract terms to which he previously agreed on multiple occasions. His claims are entirely without merit and in many instances downright bizarre, and we are very confident this matter will be resolved in our favor. A core ethos since Rockstar’s inception has been the concept of ‘the team’. It is deeply disappointing and simply wrong for Leslie to attempt to take personal credit for what has always been the tremendous efforts of the entire Rockstar team, who remain hard at work delivering the most immersive and engaging entertainment experiences we can for our fans. We do not intend to comment further on this matter.”
It’s unclear how this is going to pan out. Both sides are pleading innocence and in the current situation, is it up Sam Houser to determine what kind of royalies that Benzies is entitled to, if any, in relation to the Grand Theft Auto franchise. The only thing that’s certain is the fact that it’s incredibly sad to see two driving forces in Rockstar’s success tied up in such a vicious legal battle.