UPDATE: The judge denied Drake’s motion and instead ordered him to pay man’s attorney fees. He’s still on the hook for $100,000 for a second trial, as well as another $96,300, and another $24,000 to cover his court fees.
Drake claims a man sued him in court because he wanted something he’d refused to give him for years. That man is suing Drake for an alleged assault that occurred at a New York City club in 2013.
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Jason Diamond, the plaintiff, claims that Drake, real name Aubrey Drake Graham, “struck and injured his head, face, and body” during a brawl at W.i.P. nightclub in February 2013, the New York Daily News reports. Drake’s lawyer, Mike K. Bennett, said that “two video cameras that were not functioning properly and Mr Diamond’s attempt to delete evidence has caused an issue in this case.” Drake’s lawyer is seeking more than $26,000 in sanctions for the club’s “attempt to subvert the judicial process”.
There’s no audio or video evidence of the incident in question, and Diamond claims he does not remember it, so Drake’s request for sanctions is unusual in a sense, given the lack of evidence. The previous skirmish he filed a lawsuit over happened at a Texas football game in 2012, when dancers accused the Canadian rapper of assault, writing and recording their accusations on Facebook. Drake also wrote and recorded a song about the alleged incident, “Back To Back”, which includes the lyrics: “I swear when I got a gun or a knife, I whip out at you / Plus if you’re talking s**t, just tryna let me know what you’re talkin’ about / I don’t know where you at, I don’t know when you’re at / But I’m at the stadium, why you gotta come out here to tell me that?”
While Drake is accused of assault in both New York City and Austin, the former in front of Drake’s parents and their house, during a 2002 Super Bowl party, the lyrics do not specifically reference Diamond. But Drake’s lawyers claim that Diamond has demanded money in both lawsuits for “work done” that Drake told him to refrain from – that is, for “filming or sharing” information about his story – and for being “influenced by outside parties.”
The history between Drake and Diamond dates back to 2011. When Diamond was offered to compete on TV’s Dancing With the Stars, Drake – who was promoting his upcoming sophomore album – came out to support him. Diamond wrote a song about his experience, called I’m More Than a Few Photos (About Drake), which has more than 10m views on YouTube.
Drake’s “Back To Back” hit the same year as Diamond’s song, and as soon as Diamond claimed that Drake had assaulted him, the lyric “He’s stupid with a gun” was swiftly added to the song’s sound bite. “I called my Dad a hypocrite, and I’m right,” Diamond said in 2013. “Drake is a hypocrite … That he sees me as a misogynist and a bully.”
Drake (pictured with his mother at this year’s Grammy awards, where he took home three trophies) is accused of assaulting Diamond in 2013. Photograph: Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Diamond’s ex-girlfriend, Erica Gomez, says she appeared on stage with Diamond and showed videos of Diamond praising Drake, but the rapper himself does not seem to mention him in the song. Although Drake is accused of assaulting Diamond and writing lyrics about him, he is not named in the lawsuit, which Diamond filed with four other dancers, saying that he offered them the same amount of money and says the lawsuit is about bullying. He is also allegedly suing Michael Gonzalez, the nightclub owner of W.i.P. Club, for failing to clear dance floors for a NFL game in which he appeared, of committing unlawful entry and assault and battery, and more.