Kid Rock Says He Didn't Fight Until Provoked

Kid Rock attends the 2010 CMT Awards rehearsals at Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tenn., June 7, 2010 Kid Rock attends the 2010 CMT Awards rehearsals at Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tenn., June 7, 2010

Musician Kid Rock testified Thursday that he exchanged some tough words with a customer before a 2007 melee at an Atlanta-area Waffle House restaurant but didn’t start fighting until provoked.

“I gave it to him verbally, I said, ‘Shut your mouth, man,’” the singer testified in DeKalb County court, adding that while members of his entourage hit Harlen Akins during the fight, the musician never landed a punch.

Robert James Ritchie, better known as Kid Rock, and five members of his entourage are being sued over the 2007 fight.

Akins claims the musician cursed at him during the early morning fight, and then members of his entourage beat Akins up and smashed his cell phone.

Kid Rock testified that he and his friends were acting in self-defense and only used as much force as was necessary.

“If you look at me, Bossy, Jason and Bear,” he said referring to members of his entourage who are all big men, “if we wanted to hurt this man, we could have hurt him very, very bad.”

Several doctors testified Wednesday that Akins had injuries that were consistent with having been in a fight. A firefighter who drove him to the hospital testified Tuesday that he didn’t note anything about Akins being bloody in his report and found no signs of internal bleeding.

Kid Rock pleaded guilty in March 2008 to a misdemeanor charge of simple battery stemming from the incident.

The musician stopped at the restaurant following a performance in Atlanta. The fight broke out after Akins recognized a woman in Kid Rock’s party and spoke to her.

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