1. Headline
  1. Headline
updated 2/18/2007 7:02:20 PM ET 2007-02-19T00:02:20

Comedian Michael Richards won’t attend a weekend mock trial with four black people he targeted during his racial rant at a comedy club because the gathering is open to the media and amounts to a publicity stunt, his lawyer said Friday.

  1. More Entertainment stories
    1. Autistic ballerina dances her way into hearts

      In a popular YouTube video, the beaming little ballerina dances an entire four-minute routine seemingly perfectly, matchin...

    2. Every on-screen drink in 'Mad Men' in 5 minutes
    3. See the 'Dancing' stars' most memorable moves
    4. Emmy's biggest snubs? Cranston, Hamm, more
    5. 'Toy Story' toys burn up in prank on mom

Attorney Douglas Mirell said any meeting between Richards and the three men and one woman should be private.

Richards portrayed Kramer on the television sitcom, “Seinfeld.”

The incident occurred Nov. 17 at the Laugh Factory in West Hollywood. The comedian launched into a string of obscenities that included the “n-word” and a reference to lynching blacks after someone in the group of friends told him he wasn’t funny. A video cell phone captured the outburst.

“We wanted to apologize face to face to the individuals in the club that night,” Mirell said. “Now this has been turned into a modern-day kangaroo court.”

After the incident, Richards said he wanted to apologize to the patrons. However, lawyers for both sides couldn’t agree on the circumstances under which a meeting would take place.

Lawyer Gloria Allred, who represents the patrons, organized the mock trial and invited Richards.

Allred criticized Richards for apologizing to black leaders such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson and on the “Late Show with David Letterman” but not to the people he verbally attacked.

“Mr. Richards had no hesitation in crying his crocodile tears and giving his spin on how sorry he was in a public venue,” Allred said.

Richards’ absence won’t stop the gathering, which was set for Saturday afternoon at Loyola Law School, she said.

The mock trial, which will be open to media but closed to the public, will feature a three-person “jury” made up of former California Supreme Court Justice Armand Arabian and two lawyers.

After listening to legal arguments and testimony, the group will make a decision on whether Richards was accountable and what he should do to mend his actions, Arabian said.

While the mock trial carries no legal weight, Arabian said it was important to further discussions about racial name-calling in America.

“The use of racial epithets and labeling people in a racial way is a very relevant issue today,” Arabian said. “It’s instructive for the public to have a view of what this is like for someone who is a recipient” of racial insults.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

TODAY's Takeaway
  1. TODAY

    Savannah won’t ‘overshare’; rapping medic cracks up anchors

    4/17/2014 8:38:13 PM +00:00 2014-04-17T20:38:13
  1. After helpful mom accidentally steals car, rightful owner is found

    When Nekisia Davis asked her mom to move her car and her friends' cars while she went on vacation, she didn't expect that she would instead accidentally move the wrong car, prompting the rightful owner to believe her car was stolen.

    4/17/2014 9:14:16 PM +00:00 2014-04-17T21:14:16
  1. Macy's

    Swimmer Ryan Lochte dives into underwear modeling

    4/17/2014 6:29:23 PM +00:00 2014-04-17T18:29:23
  1. Spencer Platt / Getty Images

    Chelsea Clinton is pregnant! Former first daughter expecting first child this year

    4/17/2014 10:32:13 PM +00:00 2014-04-17T22:32:13
  1. Edgard Garrido / Reuters

    Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies at 87

    4/17/2014 8:24:21 PM +00:00 2014-04-17T20:24:21
  1. Have you tried an elimination diet? Weigh in on the food fad

    Could eliminating certain foods from your diet prevent allergies, fatigue, or headaches? Some people think so.

    4/17/2014 8:30:46 PM +00:00 2014-04-17T20:30:46