A security guard suing rocker Morrissey over allegations of a plot to "batter" a controversial website owner is demanding almost $265,000 (£156,000) in damages amid claims he was fired for refusing to carry out the request.
Bradley Steyn has filed a lawsuit in California detailing extraordinary allegations that the former The Smiths singer and his tour manager Donald Knutson were targeting David Tseng over his fan website.
Morrissey has had a long-running feud with Tseng over the forum, and Steyn alleges that prior to a concert in Santa Ana, California in May (14), the rocker branded the fan "the bane of my existence" and asked if Steyn could track down Tseng's home address.
In legal documents filed at Orange County Superior Court, Steyn accuses Morrissey and Knutson of asking him to commit "a criminal act" and then firing him when he refused.
The lawsuit states, "In this discussion, Morrissey expressed that Tseng was the 'bane of my existence' and then asked those present 'how do we find his home address?' Knutson replied that Tseng 'could be gotten rid of' and then quizzically looked toward Steyn. Knutson then stated: 'I am sure that Bradley (Steyn) could get his home address'.
"Later that night, Morrissey directly asked Steyn if Tseng 'could get hurt.' Steyn did not answer and refused further participation in the conversation. The next day, at a poolside conversation at Morrissey's hotel, Knutson fired Steyn."
The lawsuit adds, "Defendants... interfered with the Plaintiff's right to receive the benefits of the contract by asking him to commit a criminal act. When Steyn refused to batter Tseng, his services were terminated."
Steyn is suing Morrissey and Knutson for breach of contract, breach of good faith, fraud, and intentional misrepresentation. He wants a minimum of $264,450 (£155,558) in compensation and punitive damages, plus his legal costs, claiming the incident caused him "to incur serious financial harm, as well as mental and physical injury. The aforementioned conduct was malicious and despicable conduct that subjected Plaintiff to cruel and unjust hardships."
Morrissey issued a statement last week (ends03Aug14) branding the claim "false" and a "vexatious lie".