An ex-bodyguard of pop star Justin Bieber filed a lawsuit last week in Los Angeles, accusing the singer of assault and unpaid compensation.
According to attorney Ilan Heimanson, Moshe Benabou worked for Bieber from March through October of 2011. At one point during his employment with Bieber’s touring company, Benabou alleges that he was physically assaulted by Bieber while backstage before a concert. Benabou stated that Bieber was cheered on by friends as he punched and pushed the former bodyguard in the chest. Per the complaint, the physical confrontation started when Benabou tried to keep a friend away from Bieber:
"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," said Heimanson.
Additionally, Benabou is suing BT Touring for unpaid overtime compensation. In the complaint, Heimanson stated that his client worked seven days a week, yet never received overtime pay because he was a salary employee. However, the California Labor Law mandates that every employee, whether hourly or salary, must be paid 1.5 times the salary for overtime work should it occur.
A total of $421,621 is being sought in damages. The lawsuit was filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court. Bieber’s representatives have not yet commented on the lawsuit.