| 11.2°C Belfast

Kid Rock denies starting fight


Kid Rock has appeared in a US court

Kid Rock has appeared in a US court

Kid Rock has appeared in a US court

Kid Rock has told a court that he exchanged some tough words with a customer at an Atlanta-area Waffle House - but didn't start fighting until provoked.

Robert James Ritchie, better known as Kid Rock, and five members of his entourage are being sued over the 2007 fight.

"I gave it to him verbally, I said, 'Shut your mouth, man,'" the singer testified in DeKalb County court, adding that while members of his entourage hit Harlen Akins during the fight, the musician never landed a punch.

Akins claims the musician cursed at him during the early morning fight. Mr Akins said members of Kid Rock's entourage then beat him up and smashed his mobile phone.

The judge dismissed two of the defendants - Davina Barnes and George Vourvoulias - from the suit Thursday. The jury is set to begin deliberating Friday.

Kid Rock testified that he and his friends were acting in self-defence and only used as much force as was necessary.

"If you look at me, Bossy, Jason and Bear," he said, referring to members of his entourage who are all big men, "if we wanted to hurt this man, we could have hurt him very, very bad."

Several doctors testified on Wednesday that Akins had injuries that were consistent with having been in a fight. A firefighter who drove him to the hospital testified Tuesday that he didn't note anything about Akins being bloody in his report and found no signs of internal bleeding.

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

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