On the day Chris Brown took to YouTube to say he’s “not a monster,” a photographer sued the R&B singer, saying Brown’s bodyguards beat him as he tried to take pictures at a gym.
Robert Rosen sued Brown and LA Fitness International, claiming he was assaulted by a bodyguard after snapping pictures in a gym in Universal City. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for multiple claims, including assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence.
The suit states Rosen snapped photos of Brown and friends on the basketball court at the LA Fitness on May 13, roughly a month after the singer’s arrest for allegedly assaulting then-girlfriend Rihanna. Brown has pleaded not guilty in that case, which is scheduled for a hearing Thursday.
Rosen’s lawsuit states he fell down a flight of stairs after being chased by Brown’s bodyguards, who assaulted him. It does not allege violence by Brown.
Rosen also claims he was blocked from leaving the gym by a gym employee. A phone recording at LA Fitness’ headquarters said the company was closed on Wednesday evening and did not allow a message to be left.
“This is a specious and frivolous lawsuit by one of the paparazzi seeking publicity and a payday,” Brown’s attorney, Mark Geragos, said in a statement. “He’s done this before and lost. We will vigorously defend against this.”
The filing does not state Rosen’s employer, but a paparazzo with the same name filed a similar lawsuit against Pierce Brosnan in 2007. That suit was later dismissed. Rosen’s attorney did not return a phone call Wednesday afternoon.
The lawsuit was filed on the same day Brown, 20, defended himself in a video posted on YouTube.
Brown is shown leaning in and speaking directly into the camera, which appears to be positioned in front of a bowling lane. He talks about his new album called “Graffiti,” and a single expected this summer.
Then he says: “Everybody that’s haters, they just been haters. All my real fans, I love you. I ain’t a monster.”
Brown, who’s been charged with felony assault and making criminal threats against Rihanna on the night of the Grammy Awards in February, did not mention his former girlfriend.
It’s not immediately clear when or where the video was shot. A publicist for Brown didn’t immediately respond to a requests for comment Wednesday about the video.