Perez Hilton Files Suit Against Black Eyed Peas Road Manager Over Battery & Emotional Distress
First Published: June 24, 2009 5:36 PM EDT Credit: Getty Images
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Perez Hilton has filed a lawsuit against Polo Molina, road manager for the Black Eyed Peas, stemming from an incident following the MuchMusic Video Awards on Sunday evening in Toronto that left the celebrity blogger with a cut under his eye.
Perez filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday, claiming battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. He is asking for a judge to award him monies in excess of $25,000 for general damages, as well as additional amounts for medical bills and expenses and punitive damages.
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In his lawsuit, Perez, whose real name is Mario Lavandeira, claims Molina intended to “intimidate and silence” the writer “from negatively commenting about the Black Eyed Peas and their latest album ‘The E.N.D.’ on the perezhilton Web site.”
Perez claims that on Sunday, Black Eyed Peas’ member Will.i.am. made “belligerent demands” that the blogger stop posting information about his group on the Web site, and when he “refused to concede,” Molina allegedly “engaged in a brutal physical assault of Lavendeira outside of the Toronto nightclub Cobra.”
In filing the lawsuit, Perez claims he is looking to “Protect his Constitutional right to express his opinions and to be free from physical violence and intimidation for exercising these rights…. No matter how angry Molina and his entourage may have been, no matter how much they disagree with Lavandeira’s opinions, they did not have, nor do they ever have, the right to try and inflict physical harm on him or anyone else.”
Perez claims he was pushed backstage at the MuchMusic Video Awards by an unnamed member of the Black Eyed Peas’ entourage, a short while after singer Fergie confronted him about posts he had written about the group.
After leaving a post-show party at Toronto club Cobra, Perez has claims in his lawsuit that Will.i.am, “in an openly hostile and extremely aggressive manner, marched up to Lavandeira and began screaming at Lavandeira, within inches of his face, demanding that Lavandeira no longer speak about the Black Eyed Peas.”
Later, the blogger claims he eventually decided to “stand up to the strong-arm tactics of will.i.am” and engaged in a “further verbal exchange.” Perez does not in his lawsuit explain, as he admitted on his Web site, that he shouted in Will.i.am’s face and used a gay slur, one that he has been condemned for using by the Peas member and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation organization.
Perez claims it was while standing outside Cobra, “Molina punched Lavendeira from behind, hitting him in the face.” He alleges he was hit “two or three more times in the face” and called the incident “violent and malicious.”
Perez claims in his lawsuit that he returned to his hotel and was “followed” by Will.i.am “and his entourage.” In fear for his safety, he claims he called the police. On Sunday night, Perez hit up his Twitter page, where he posted several messages asking his fans to call the authorities. However, he makes no mention in his suit about asking his followers on Twitter to call the police.
As a result of the alleged punches from Molina, Perez claims he “was hurt and injured in his health, strength, and activity, sustaining injury to his nervous system and person, all of which have caused, and continue to cause, Lavandeira great mental, physical, and nervous pain and suffering.”
He claims he has “suffered humiliation, mental anguish, and emotional and physical distress, and has been injured in mind and body.”
A rep for Molina was not immediatley available for comment.
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