Justin Bieber Sued for Alleged Assault, Using ‘Racial Epithets’
Justin Bieber has been accused of assault, battery, and damages to personal property in a new lawsuit filed on Thursday (June 7) by a man named Rodney Cannon, who claims the pop star used "racial epithets" during a fight that took place outside a Cleveland hotel during the 2016 NBA Finals.
According to documents obtained by Billboard, Cannon says he was introduced to Bieber while at Cleveland's Westin Hotel, where the 24-year-old singer allegedly removed Cannon's sunglasses without permission and put them on. When Cannon then tried to take a picture, he claims Bieber's "demeanor dramatically changed" and that he "suddenly became irate."
Cannon alleges Bieber then "aggressively threaten[ed]" to harm him if he did not delete the photo, in addition to making "threatening communications" including "racial epithets" in front of a crowd of people. (Sources told The Blast they believed Bieber used the N-word during the altercation, while a source close to Bieber refuted the claim to People, saying Cannon has been "trying unsuccessfully to get money from Justin for years" for the incident.)
Cannon goes on to claim that Bieber grabbed his shirt as he was walking away and punched him in the face, head, and body. He says he responded by attempting to subdue Bieber on the ground, but was "struck in the back of the head" by someone he believes was working as the performer's security detail, causing him to allegedly lose consciousness for a brief period of time.
Cannon says the purported brawl caused him physical and emotional harm, forced him to miss multiple days of work, and damaged his sunglasses and clothing, valued at upward of $1000. He is seeking damages to be decided at trial.
The fight in question was initially reported in 2016 after TMZ posted footage of the encounter online. Last year, it was revealed Cannon had filed a police report and the case was under investigation. Neither Bieber or his reps have publicly commented on the lawsuit.