March 29, 2015 - 7:27 PM
TORONTO - The lawyer for an limousine driver who has launched a civil lawsuit against Justin Bieber says he is "looking forward to the opportunity of cross-examining" the Canadian pop star in court.
Clayton Ruby, the lawyer for Abdul Mohar, has filed documents in an Ontario court that allege that Bieber assaulted his client during an incident in December, 2013.
Ruby says he does "not make allegations lightly" and intends to prove them in court.
"His lawyer said he wasn't present, it wasn't him," Ruby said. "I'm looking forward to the opportunity of cross-examining Mr. Bieber on his non-presence or indeed his non-existence."
Bieber's lawyer, Brian Greenspan, said in a emailed statement that the civil claim against his client is "totally without merit."
Mohar is seeking $850,000 in damages and a permanent injunction preventing Bieber or anyone representing him from coming within 100 metres of him, according to the statement of claim filed on Friday.
The alleged incident occurred in the early morning of Dec. 30, 2013, when Bieber and five other people were picked up by Mohar at a Toronto nightclub in his Ford Expedition SUV.
Mohar, who was working as an Uber driver, said there was "a distinct odour of alcohol and marijuana present" when he picked them up from a night club in Toronto via an Uber account owned by Bieber's tour manager Josh Williams, the documents allege.
Mohar was provided a CD to play in the SUV on the way to a Toronto hotel, and according to the statement of claim, Bieber "loudly and aggressively" told him to "max out the volume" numerous times.
The documents allege that "suddenly and without warning," Bieber moved to the front of the SUV and turned the volume all the way up and without "any provocation or warning" Bieber "viciously assaulted" Mohar in an "unprovoked attack" by punching him in his right cheek with a closed fist.
Mohar then attempted to pull the SUV over to the side of the road, when Bieber allegedly "punched him four to five times in the back of the head," the documents state.
Mohar then exited the SUV and called 911 when Bieber came within inches of him and said "what's your problem?" before a passenger "stopped Bieber from continuing his assault," the documents state.
None of the allegations have been proven in court and Greenspan has not yet filed a statement of defence.
Bieber was charged with one count of assault in connection with the alleged incident, but last September prosecutors withdrew the charge saying they didn't see "a reasonable prospect of conviction."
Greenspan says the charge was withdrawn because Bieber did fit the description of the alleged assailant.
"During the course of the incident, while speaking with the 911 operator, the limousine driver had, in fact, identified his alleged assailant, who was still present, as black," Greenspan said. "After a careful assessment of the evidence, the Crown Attorney withdrew the charge."
Ruby said Mohar was distraught when he described his assailant at the time of the call, but had properly identified Bieber to police at the scene of the incident.
"I can't imagine what it is that caused them to drop the charges ... but it may have been the high level of proof," Ruby said. "The Crown has to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, that's a very high standard, in a civil case you only have to prove that it's probable."
Mohar alleged in the documents that he had suffered and will continue to suffer both physical and emotional injuries as a result of the incident.
The documents also allege that Bieber has shown "a total lack of remorse" and continued to publicly deny his actions.
News from © The Associated Press, 2015