Machine Gun Kelly has blamed his fame and “false” news reports for his failure to respond to an assault and battery lawsuit filed against him by a disabled parking lot attendant.
In the complaint filed last September, the attendant John Tilli alleged that Kelly (real name Colson Baker) pushed and threatened him while he was working. The suit came after the LA City Attorney’s Office decided not to go forward with charges due to a lack of “reasonable likelihood of conviction”.
Now, in a new filing obtained by Rolling Stone, Baker is requesting a judge to set aside his recent default in the case and allow him to fight the civil claim over the alleged incident, which took place at a bank in Studio City, Los Angeles in August 2021.
Writing in a new sworn statement explaining his delay in answering the lawsuit, Baker said: “As a result of my profession, there are many stories, accounts, reports and other write-ups citing my stage name, ‘Machine Gun Kelly’ [that] purport to describe activities in which I have been involved.
“When I followed them regularly, I found that many of the publications ranged from false to only partially true.”
He continued: “These publications occur sometimes multiple times each day. As a result, I no longer make it common practice to read publications about me or those that cite to my entertainment name, Machine Gun Kelly, to determine whether or not something therein is truthful, newsworthy or should place me on notice.”
Baker claimed that he had not been served with the complaint and hadn’t seen the official publication of the summons prior to the deadline to respond to the lawsuit.
“Upon learning of the lawsuit, I promptly retained counsel,” he wrote. “I further note that I deny the allegations made against me in this lawsuit.”
Per Rolling Stone‘s report, the court did not immediately rule on his request.
The alleged incident occurred on the set of Good Mourning With A U, the film Baker is co-directing with Mod Sun. Tilli claimed he arrived at his job that morning, found Baker and a group of people filming something in the bank’s parking lot and questioned whether the group had a permit, which they apparently didn’t
Tilli then alleged he asked them to leave multiple times before Baker allegedly pushed him and began “yelling threats” at Tilli, leaving him “shaken up” and “upset”.
According to the complaint, Tilli has “a mental and/or emotional condition that was made worse by Baker’s wrongful conduct”, which made him “more susceptible to injury than a normal healthy person would have been”.
Baker’s failure to answer the complaint meant that an LA County Superior Court clerk had to find him in “default”, meaning he lost his right to appear in the case. It also meant that Tilli could pursue a $25,000 (£18,500) civil penalty as well as damages.
Although Baker did not speak publicly about the allegations at the time, his team denied the claims in September.
A source told the New York Post: “The accuser came on to the location of a film, harassing and becoming physical with a producer and members of the crew.
“He was asked to leave the set, and this report is frivolous as evidenced by a lack of witnesses and any physical evidence.”