Friday, January 11, 2013
Justin Bieber beat me up': Teen pop star sued by former bodyguard
A former bodyguard for Justin Bieber has accused the pop star of beating him up.
Moshe Benabou claims the 5ft 7in singer, 18, repeatedly struck him during an October confrontation.
He is also seeking more than $420,000 in overtime and other wages.
The bodyguard: Justin Bieber with Moshe Benabou in September
Benabou's lawsuit claims Bieber berated him and repeatedly punched him in the chest after a disagreement about how to handle a member of the Grammy-nominated singer's entourage. After he walked away, Bieber fired him, Benabou's lawsuit claims.
Legal action: The security guard claims the singer repeatedly punched him during an October confrontation
Benabou also says he was mistakenly told that he wasn't entitled to receive overtime despite working 14 to 18 hour days between March 2011 and October 2012.
An email message sent to Bieber's publicist was not immediately returned.
Benabou is seeking unspecified damages on the assault and battery claims and $421,261 in unpaid overtime, vacation and other wage benefits.
'For nearly two years Mr. Benabou devoted himself completely to ensuring Mr. Bieber's personal safety,' Benabou's attorney, Ilan Heimanson, wrote in a statement.
'Mr. Benabou deserved, as does any employee, to be treated with respect, dignity and in accordance with the law. Unfortunately, he was not. '
Bieber's album Believe ranked No. 6 in 2012 sales with more than 1.3 million units sold.
In October Los Angeles prosecutors declined to file charges against Bieber after finding insufficient evidence that he punched and kicked a photographer outside a movie theater near his home in Calabasas, Calif., a month earlier.