Kid Rock’s lawyer says musician was defending himself in 2007 fight at Georgia Waffle House

By Kate Brumback, AP
Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lawyer: Kid Rock was defending himself in 07 fight

DECATUR, Ga. — A lawyer for Kid Rock says the musician and his entourage were trying to defend themselves from another customer at a Georgia Waffle House when a fight broke out in 2007.

Attorney William Horton made the claim Tuesday during his opening statement in DeKalb County Court. The entertainer whose real name is Robert James Ritchie and five members of his entourage are facing a civil lawsuit over the fight.

Harlen Akins claims in the lawsuit that the group beat him for no reason. He’s seeking unspecified punitive damages.

Kid Rock pleaded guilty in March 2008 to a misdemeanor charge of simple battery.

The musician had stopped at the restaurant after performing in Atlanta, and the fight broke out after Akins exchanged words with Kid Rock’s party.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — Jury selection has been completed in a lawsuit against musician Kid Rock stemming from a fight at a Waffle House restaurant near Atlanta.

Robert James Ritchie, better known as Kid Rock, and five members of his entourage appeared Tuesday before a DeKalb County judge.

In the lawsuit, Harlen Akins claims the musician cursed at him during the early-morning fight in October 2007, and members of his entourage beat Akins up and smashed his cell phone.

Kid Rock pleaded guilty in March 2008 to a misdemeanor charge of simple battery.

The musician stopped at the restaurant following a performance in Atlanta. The fight reportedly broke out after Akins recognized a woman in Kid Rock’s party and spoke to her.

Akins filed the lawsuit in 2007.

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