TORONTO—Lawyers for Justin Bieber claim a Toronto limousine driver suing the Canadian pop star made up a story about being assaulted by the singer in the hopes of getting a hefty payout.
In a statement of defence filed recently in an Ontario court, lawyers for Bieber argue the civil suit from limo driver Abdul Mohar should be dismissed.
Key to their argument is a claim that Mohar told police he was assaulted by “a black guy.”
“Bieber is white,” the statement of defence said. “Mohar has concocted a story about being assaulted by Bieber in the hope of obtaining a favourable settlement from a wealthy individual who attracts a lot of media attention.”
The lawsuit revolves around an incident that occurred on Dec. 30, 2013, when Bieber and five other people were picked up from a Toronto nightclub by Mohar, who was driving a Ford Expedition SUV.
Mohar, who was working as an Uber driver, alleges in his statement of claim that there was “a distinct odour of alcohol and marijuana present” at the time.
In Bieber’s statement of defence, however, the pop star’s lawyers argue that Bieber had consumed a small amount of alcohol at the night club but was not intoxicated and had not used any illegal or recreational drugs.
Bieber was sitting in the middle row of the vehicle when he asked Mohar to turn up the music, the statement of defence said.
When Mohar did not respond after Bieber made his request multiple times, the singer reached forward and began to turn up the music, the statement of defence said.
“As he was doing so, Mohar grabbed Bieber’s hand and pulled it off the volume knob. Startled, Bieber quickly pulled his arm back and told Mohar not to touch him,” the document said.
“Bieber did not punch or assault Mohar in any way, intentionally or accidentally. The only physical contact between the two occurred when Mohar grabbed Bieber’s hand.”
Mohar alleges in his statement of claim, however, that a dispute erupted over the volume of a CD he was playing and that “suddenly and without warning,” Bieber moved to the front of the SUV, turned the volume all the way up and “viciously assaulted” him.
Mohar claimed Bieber punched him in his right cheek with a closed fist, and then “punched him four to five times in the back of the head.”
Following the incident in the vehicle, Bieber’s statement of defence claimed Mohar pulled over at the side of the road and got out of the SUV.
Bieber and his group then got out of the vehicle and into two other SUVs carrying his entourage which had arrived on the scene, the document said.
“Bieber did not confront or speak to Mohar after Mohar had left the vehicle,” it said.
Mohar, meanwhile, called 911 and claimed to have been assaulted, Bieber’s statement of defence said.
“Mohar told dispatch that he had been punched by ‘a black guy,”’ the document said.
“Mohar was not assaulted by anybody. In the alternative, if Mohar was assaulted, he was not assaulted by Bieber. Mohar’s claim is inconsistent with his own report to 911.”
Bieber’s lawyer also say that Mohar only learned that Bieber was in his vehicle after the call to 911.
Mohar is seeking $850,000 in damages in his lawsuit and a permanent injunction preventing Bieber or anyone representing him from coming within 100 metres of him.
Bieber was charged with one count of assault in connection with the alleged incident, but last September prosecutors withdrew the charge saying they didn’t see “a reasonable prospect of conviction.”
Bieber’s statement of defence made note of that fact, saying that case fell apart largely because “Mohar had identified his alleged assailant as black — which Bieber is clearly not.”
None of the allegations in Mohar’s statement of claim or Bieber’s statement of defence have been proven in court.