A new front has opened in the battle between Perez Hilton and the Black Eyed Peas manager accused of hitting him: a civil lawsuit.
The celebrity blogger, whose real name is Mario Lavandeira, sued the Peas’ manager in Los Angeles on Wednesday for battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. He is seeking unspecified damages of more than $25,000.
The suit states Hilton is seeking to protect his rights to free speech and claims Polo Molina attacked him because he made critical comments about the Black Eyed Peas’ new album.
Molina was arrested in Toronto early Monday after he allegedly punched Hilton following a heated argument between the blogger and Black Eyed Peas leader will.i.am. He is due to appear in court on Aug. 5.
An e-mail sent to the group’s publicist was not immediately returned Wednesday.
“Perez Hilton was assaulted by the band’s road manager because he would not agree to stop writing about the Black Eyed Peas on his Web site Perezhiton.com,” Bryan Freedman, Hilton’s lawyer, said in a statement. “Whether you love Perez or hate him, he is entitled to his freedom of speech without fear of physical violence. This lawsuit will make the statement that violence is never the answer.”
The lawsuit details the events leading up to Molina’s alleged attack on the blogger.
The complaint states Black Eyed Peas vocalist Fergie approached Hilton on Saturday and asked why he was writing “mean” things about her and the group. Hilton replied that he was “simply being honest and truthful about his opinions of them,” according to the lawsuit.
On Sunday, Hilton claims he was pushed by an unidentified member of the Black Eyed Peas’ entourage, who “slammed his shoulder into Hilton’s shoulder and thereafter pushed him.”
The lawsuit claims Fergie again approached him at an afterparty for the MuchMusic Video Awards on Sunday night and that his argument with will.i.am happened at another party.
The lawsuit claims the blogger was trying to leave that party when Molina punched him at least three more times.
“Lavandeira sustained injury to his eye and was bleeding as a result of this violent and malicious attack,” the lawsuit claims.
The blogger is seeking unspecified damages in excess of $25,000, including medical costs and damages due to “humiliation, mental anguish, and emotional and physical distress.”
The lawsuit also claims that Molina used an alias when he turned himself in and that he is on probation in California for a drunken driving conviction under his real name, Liborio Molina.
Hilton, who is openly gay, said Monday that he called will.i.am a “faggot,” a gay slur, inside the club after the musician told the blogger not to write about his band on his Web site.
He posted about the attack on the popular microblogging site Twitter on Monday, and has since rejected a call by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation to apologize for using the term.