will.i.am's Black Eyed row
Black Eyed Peas star will.i.am and his tour manager Polo Molina were involved in an altercation with internet gossip blogger Perez Hilton which resulted in Polo being charged with assaulting the writer
Black Eyed Peas' tour manager has been charged with assaulting Perez Hilton.
The group were warned they would be forbidden to leave Canada until Polo Molina handed himself over to police over the alleged incident, which took place at Toronto's Cobra club in the early hours of Monday morning (22.06.09).
The gossip blogger claims he was confronted by Polo and group member will.i.am at the nightspot following an earlier altercation when singer Fergie blasted him over negative comments he had made about their music.
In a video blog entitled My Statement, a tearful Perez - real name Mario Lavandeira - said: "Will.i.am sees me and comes directly towards me like a heat-seeking missile. He was screaming in my face."
Further into the video, he added that Polo "from behind, clocks me in the eye and punches me two or three times".
The blogger admitted deliberately trying to antagonise the rapper by calling him a "f****t".
He said: "He was like, 'You need to respect me.' He was obviously trying to intimidate me and scare me.
"I was like, 'I don't respect you' and I did say this - and I knew that it would be the worst thing I could possibly say to him because he was acting the way he was - I said, 'You know what, I don't respect you and you're gay and stop being such a f****t.' "
Following the incident, the openly-gay writer posted on his Twitter page about the incident: "I am bleeding. Please, I need to file a police report. No joke."
Will.i.am has blasted the claims, saying Perez has blown the incident out of proportion for publicity and wondered why he used the internet instead of calling police.
He wrote on his own blog: "It sounds like somebody wants mad attention and is not really concerned about his health."
Following Perez's Tweet, fans inundated local police with calls and they began investigating the incident.
After handing himself in, Polo was charged and will appear in court on August 5.
Meanwhile, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) have blasted Perez for his use of the word "f****t".
They said in a statement: "We have reached out to Hilton and asked him to apologise for promoting this anti-gay slur. For someone in our own community to use it to attack another person is incredibly dangerous.
"It legitimises use of a slur that is often linked to violence against our community. And it sends a message that it is OK to attempt to dehumanise people by exploiting anti-gay attitudes."