Chappelle and his bodyguard sued for alleged assault
Comedian Dave Chappelle is being sued by a man who threw a banana peel at him during a 2015 performance.
The incident in question took place during a Chappelle stand-up show at the Lensic Performing Arts Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The Associated Press reports that Christian Englander is suing both Chappelle and an individual presumed to be the comic’s bodyguard.
Englander filed the lawsuit last Friday (April 30), claiming that he was struck twice by Chappelle’s bodyguard as he was being restrained by venue security.
According to The Santa Fe New Mexican, Englander claims that the alleged attack was “without provocation” and “under the clear direction of defendant Chappelle”.
“Defendant Chappelle had a duty to plaintiff to adequately and properly hire, train, supervise and discipline his security personnel and other employees and agents to ensure that members of the public were not subjected to assault, battery or excessive use of force,” Englander writes in the suit.
Englander claims to have suffered physically, emotionally and financially as a result of the alleged assault, as well as citing an apparent “loss of enjoyment of life”.
He is seeking punitive and other damages from Chappelle “in such amount as may be found appropriate”.
Chappelle has not yet responded to the reports.
Englander had initially faced charges of battery and disturbing the peace over the incident, but the case was later dropped after Chappelle refused to cooperate in the prosecution.
The assault claims were not mentioned in the original police report, but his lawyer says that the allegations would have been raised had Englander gone to trial.
Englander, who is white, denies that there was any racial motivation when he threw the banana peel, instead claiming that he was angered by something Chappelle said during the performance.
The comedian previously addressed the incident in his 2017 Netflix special Deep in the Heart of Texas, dubbing it “Bananagate” and suggesting the attack was “premeditated” due to the brownness of the peel.