Two lawsuits filed by Richard Wershe Jr., the man whose life inspired the movie “White Boy Rick,” have been dismissed by a federal judge in Detroit. U.S. District Court Judge F. Kay Behm ruled that Wershe waited too long to file the lawsuits, citing the statute of limitations. Wershe had filed the lawsuits in 2021 and 2022, seeking $100 million in damages and alleging constitutional violations.
Wershe’s life as a drug dealer and informant was the basis for the 2018 film “White Boy Rick,” starring Matthew McConaughey and Richie Merritt. In his lawsuits, Wershe accused officers from the FBI and Detroit Police Department of coercing him into assisting them as a teenager. He claimed to have suffered injuries while working as an informant in the 1980s.
Judge Behm’s ruling stated that the claims made by Wershe would have reached the statute of limitations in 2006. Wershe was arrested in 1987 on drug possession charges and sentenced to life in prison without parole. He was later released on parole in 2017 after serving approximately 30 years in prison in Michigan.
Wershe’s lawyer, Nabih Ayad, expressed disappointment with the judge’s decision and vowed to appeal to the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. The defendants named in the lawsuits include the city of Detroit, a former Detroit police officer, two former FBI agents, and a former assistant attorney in the Justice Department. The FBI and the city of Detroit declined to comment on the ruling.