Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith has been hit with a $2.5 million-lawsuit stemming from an encounter with a New York City teenaged fan who he refused to take a photo with back in November 2015. The incident happened when Smith was in town for a Cavaliers road game against the Knicks.
According to the lawsuit filed on Thursday, Smith refused to take a pic with a 19-year old fan named Justin Brown outside of the popular 1Oak nightclub, next to a pizza shop in the Chelsea section of Manhattan around 4 a.m. Brown is suing Smith for physical injuries and emotional distress.
The police report states Smith declined to join Brown in a photo. Brown claims he was choked, also struck in the head and neck by Smith after saying to him, "That's why you got kicked out of New York." Smith was traded from the Knicks to Cleveland in 2015.
Smith was neither apprehended by police for the incident, nor did the Manhattan District Attorney file charges for the incident after a two-month investigation. There is a security camera that caught the incident.
Alex Spiro, Smith's attorney, stated about the lawsuit, "If they have the audacity to file a frivolous claim against J.R., we will counterclaim for defamation and defend the suit aggressively." He continued, "This was a cash grab from the start."
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