One paparazzo is no longer a Belieber, as he's suing Justin Bieber for allegedly giving him a flying karate kick to the stomach in 2012.
The alleged assault began outside a mall in Calabasas, California, where Bieber and then-girlfriend Selena Gomez were driving away in his Mercedes. It somehow ended with Bieber sprinting out of his car and delivering an aerial kick to the photographer's stomach followed by a punch to his face, reports the Associated Press.
The paparazzo's suit alleges emotional distress and negligence, but there are also possible assault and battery claims to be had against the Biebs.
Battery by Flying Kick
Although Justin Bieber's legs are not considered deadly weapons (but oh, that voice), kicking random photographers in the stomach is a good way to get sued for battery.
Jose Osmin Hernandez Duran claims that he and a group of photographers were taking photos of the Bieber-Gomez star couple when Bieber shouted "F--k off! Get out of my way!" He then leapt out of his car and delivered the aerial blow, reports E! News.
Any offensive contact with a person's body can be considered battery, and "Mortal Kombat"-style kick-punch combos are pretty clearly offensive contact.
It's possible that Duran's claims for emotional distress stem from his being so star-struck (figuratively) by the Canadian pop idol, but it's more likely that it stems from severe emotional distress following that alleged gravity-defying kick to the ribs.
Claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress can follow anytime there is extreme or outrageous conduct that intentionally or recklessly causes severe emotional distress.
In addition to a claim for battery, Duran can claim that Bieber is responsible for any emotional anguish, stress or even stress-related medical conditions that followed his unexpected Liu Kang impression into Duran's midsection.
Can I Get a Witness?
Selena Gomez is quoted in Duran's complaint against the "Boyfriend" singer as apologizing for his actions, stating "I'm sorry, I don't know why he did that," reports E! News.
Duran could potentially subpoena Gomez for his civil case as an eyewitness to the attack, since it is material evidence to his claims. But it is unlikely that this case will get that far.
If anything, Justin Bieber and his lawyers will likely settle the case quietly before those karate-kick antics become more of a legal liability.
- Justin Bieber Sued By Photographer For MMA Kick (The Huffington Post)
- Justin Bieber's Paparazzo Run-In Wasn't Hit-and-Run, Cops Say (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)
- Justin Bieber Speeding, Again? Deputies Investigating (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)
- Justin Bieber Murder-Castration Plot: Alleged Hitmen Arrested (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)