Kid Rock tried to act as peacemaker when a fight broke out between his entourage and a fellow diner at an Atlanta, Georgia restaurant in 2007, and was forced to hit back when he found himself under attack, a court has heard.
The "All Summer Long" singer headed to a DeKalb County court on Tuesday, September 14 to face a civil suit filed by Harlen Akins, who claims he was beaten up by Rock and his pals for no reason after an argument at a branch of the Atlanta Waffle House. Rock and five members of his crew are named in the lawsuit, in which they are accused of behaving "like a pack of wild animals" and picking on Akins for no apparent reason.
In his opening statement, the plaintiff's lawyer, Eric Hertz, alleged Rock initiated the brawl following a confrontation inside the restaurant and reportedly told his friend, "Go out there and kick his (butt)." The star was also accused of throwing the first punch in the ruckus, but Rock's attorney, William Horton, insists he was only defending himself when he hit out at his accuser.
He told the jury, "There's a pattern of provocation and escalation from the plaintiff. The plaintiff picked the fight." Horton added that Akins "purposely punched his fist through a large plate glass window in an attempt to attack" the rocker, injuring himself in the process.
Rock's counsel said, "Any bodily injuries that were sustained for which plaintiff sought medical care were not a result of the defendants' actions but were instead caused by (Akins)." And Horton suggested Akins only filed suit against Rock because of his fame: "We're here because the defendant is Kid Rock."
Jury members were shown CCTV footage of the brawl as part of the evidence, although the film did not feature any sound. The singer has already been punished for his involvement in the incident - he served 80 hours of community service in 2008 after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of simple battery.
The trial continues. It is expected to come to a close by Thursday.