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Justin Bieber — teenage pop star and now, according to a lawsuit, perpetrator of an assault and battery.
In a complaint filed in LA Superior Court, Moshe Benabou says that he was employed by Bieber’s touring company from March of 2011 to October of 2012 to be Bieber’s bodyguard. He’s now challenging his alleged entitlement to overtime wages and is objecting to an incident that is said to have happened on October 10, when Bieber purportedly yelled at him, “You are fired!”
According to the allegations, Bieber was backstage prior to a concert that day and being egged on by a small group of his companions.
That’s when Bieber is said to have launched an abusive tirade at Benabou.
“The tirade was apparently triggered by what Justin Bieber perceived as an attempt by Moshe Benabou to keep one member of Mr. Bieber’s entourage physically away from Justin Bieber,” says the complaint. “As part of this tirade, Justin Bieber repeatedly punched Moshe Benabou in the chest and upper body area. Mr. Benabou did not retaliate or attempt to protect himself out of his concerns for Justin Bieber’s physical well-being.”
Benabou says he simply turned around to walk away when Bieber exclaimed that he was fired.
That allegation covers the assault and battery claim.
Bieber and BT Touring are also being sued for failure to pay overtime compensation. The plaintiff says that due to his celebrity status, Bieber requires personal security presence on a nearly constant basis and that he regularly worked seven days a week, between fourteen and eighteen hours a day. Benabou alleges that he was told that he was a salaried employee, not entitled to overtime pay, but his attorney, Ilan Heimanson, now says that the failure to pay 1.5 times salary during overtime hours violated California labor laws.
Benabou also is suing for alleged failure to pay vacation wages, alleged failure to pay wages due immediately on termination, alleged failure to pay his expenses.
All told, the plaintiff wants at least $421,261 in damages.
Bieber’s reps couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
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