The lawsuit has been filed by Christian Englander, according to a report by The Hollywood Reporter. Englander attended Chappelle's stand-up performance three years ago, but was angered by something the comedian said on stage. Englander threw a banana peel at Chappelle, and was promptly restrained and ejected from the venue.
In the court documents reportedly filed on Friday, Englander is suing both Chappelle and his bodyguard, who he says struck him twice while he was restrained.
Ironically, Englander himself faced charges after the incident, including battery and disturbing the peace. However, Chappelle was unwilling to participate in the prosecution, and the charges were eventually dropped.
The initial police report did not mention Englander's claim that he was assaulted by Chappelle's staff, but his lawyer now contends that it would have been brought up if they'd made it to trial.
Englander, who is white, said that the attack had nothing to do with race, though he did not specify what Chappelle had said that made him so furious. The comic is infamous for his racially charged material and his brutal honesty.
Chappelle and his representatives have yet to make a public statement on the lawsuit.
Chappelle made waves on New Year's Eve when he released two brand new stand-up comedy specials back to back. The two routines were extremely topical, touching on social and political issues and tying many of the lifelong themes of Chappelle's work together neatly. The comic took a unique perspective on the presidency of Donald Trump, noting that he lives in rural Ohio and sees a different side of America than many other liberal people do.
"Full disclosure: the poor whites are my least favorite," he said in one of the most quoted portions of his special. However, he went on to humanize the voters that elected the embattled president.
"I didn’t see one deplorable face in that group. Saw some angry faces and some determined faces but they felt like decent folk. I’m not even lying! No, they did… I felt sorry for them."
"I know the game now," he went on. "I know that rich people call poor white people ‘trash.’ And the only reason I know that is I made so much money last year that the rich whites told me they say it at a cocktail party."0comments
Still, despite feeling bad for his political opponents, Chappelle couldn't help but look down on them.
"I listened to them say naive poor white people things: ‘Donald Trump is going to go to Washington and he’s going to fight for us.’ I’m standing there thinking, ‘you dumb m—. You are poor. He’s fighting for me!”