A lawsuit claiming DaBaby punched a 64-year-old man, knocked out his tooth, stole his phone, and trashed his Hollywood Hills mansion has been suspended pending resolution of a parallel felony battery charge against the controversial rapper, a judge ruled Tuesday.
Los Angeles County Judge Terry Green said DaBaby, whose real name is Jonathan Kirk, has a Fifth Amendment right to refuse to sit for a deposition or answer any written discovery questions in the civil case while he’s also facing up to four years behind bars if convicted of the “battery with serious bodily injury charge” filed against him by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
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“I can’t say no to them. They have a felony complaint,” Judge Green said at a Tuesday morning hearing in downtown Los Angeles. “This is not just a potential out there in the universe that, ‘Gee, maybe the D.A. might file on this.’”
But the judge stopped short of freezing the entire lawsuit, saying he would allow plaintiff Gary Pagar, the alleged victim in the criminal case, to continue his pursuit of documents and third parties related to his civil claims of battery, fraud, breach of contract, conversion and trespassing.
In his February 2021 complaint, Pagar says he rented his six-bedroom luxury home to Kirk in November 2020 under a “vacation” lease that explicitly stated no more than 12 people could occupy the property.
Pagar claims Kirk violated the agreement almost immediately, inviting some 40 people to the estate, including a professional film crew. He alleges Kirk was filming a video for the song “Play U Lay,” directing rapper Stunna 4 Vegas and social media personality Jake Paul to perform for cameras at the property without proper permission.
According to the complaint, Kirk and his cohorts destroyed the home’s Nest security camera shortly after Pagar reached out and demanded that the commercial shoot be terminated. When Pagar showed up in person on Dec. 2, 2020, to enforce the lease agreement, Kirk allegedly “sucker-punched (him) in the face, knocking out his tooth and leaving him bruised and bloodied,” the lawsuit states.
Pagar claims Kirk and a group of unidentified men swarmed him in front of his house, “pushing him, shoving, spitting on him, threatening him, and taunting him.” He says Kirk and the men “tossed” Pagar’s phone back and forth and scratched Pagar’s car with keys.
The lawsuit alleges Kirk fled the scene shortly after Pagar alerted him police were on the way. The complaint and its exhibits state the home was left in shambles. Pagar claims he had to pay $1,300 to fix stained carpeting, $1,000 to reupholster damaged dining chairs, $575 to re-felt a pool table, and $1,680 to repair wood flooring. Pagar also claims he never saw his $1,149 phone again.
Kirk has pleaded not guilty to the felony battery charge and filed his motion last month asking the court to put the civil lawsuit on ice until the criminal matter runs its course.
The “Rockstar” rapper argued that because the cases involve the same dispute dating back to December 2020, he has a Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination and conceal his defense ahead of a possible criminal trial.
“Kirk is in an impossible catch22 situation while both the civil and criminal cases are proceeding, and the only solution is to stay this action immediately until the criminal case is resolved,” Kirk’s lawyers, William J. Briggs, and Joshua M. Rosenberg, wrote in his Oct. 13 filing.
“We are pleased that the court agreed that Mr. Kirk has the right to have discovery stayed against him pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings,” Briggs said in a statement to Rolling Stone after the ruling.
Kirk, 30, previously pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of carrying a concealed weapon after he fatally shot 19-year-old Jaylin Craig at a North Carolina Walmart in 2018.
The musician claimed self-defense, but the dead man’s family disputes that, claiming Kirk instigated the physical dispute that led up to the shooting. An exclusive video previously obtained by Rolling Stone reporter Cheyenne Roundtree appears to support the family’s claim.
Kirk, who drew widespread condemnation for homophobic remarks at Rolling Loud Miami last year, also is being sued by the brother of his ex-girlfriend DaniLeigh over an alleged bowling alley brawl nine months ago. The brother, Brandon Curiel, claims Kirk physically assaulted and injured him at Corbin Bowl in Los Angeles on Feb. 10, 2022.
DaniLeigh, 27, shares a baby daughter as well as a turbulent relationship history with Kirk. Late last year, she was feeding their daughter at his residence when he started recording a video and called the police to physically remove her from the penthouse.
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