A man who says he was injured during a shooting at a French Montana music video taping in January is now suing the musician for $50,000.
Carl Leon, who says he was an extra during a video shoot back in January, claims that the rapper and his associates did not do enough to prevent the injury of at least 10 people. In a statement to Rolling Stone, Montana’s attorney denies the allegations and slams Leon’s claims as “profit play and a publicity stunt.”
The lawsuit filed Monday comes several months after people were injured following a shooting at a restaurant while Montana was present. Some reports indicated that he was shooting a video, while Montana claimed he was simply celebrating the release of a new mixtape. Leon alleges in his lawsuit that the Montana music video shooting was a “preventable, foreseeable incident” if Montana and his label had better planned it and acquired the correct permits for video production.
Leon claims that the rapper was filming a video for “Igloo” at a first location when an “altercation and robbery” allegedly broke out, leading the musician to move the shoot to a restaurant known as “the Licking.” Leon’s attorneys claim that given the previous incident and the status of Montana and Rob40, who’s featured on the song, it was “reasonable to anticipate” possible criminal activity at the filming.
Having the permit “would have ensured that proper police presence and security would be present on the Subject Property in order to prevent or otherwise deter violence and/or other types of criminal activity,” according to the complaint.
However, in a statement to Rolling Stone, a lawyer for French Montana denied Leon’s allegations, saying that he “was never invited to the restaurant” the night of the shooting and claiming the plaintiff had ulterior motives to sue.
“His interest in litigation is solely to exploit and benefit financially from it, and his re-imagining of his invitation and current statements are simply an egregious profit play and publicity stunt,” Montana’s lawyer Ted Anastasiou says. “Beyond rejecting Mr. Leon and his counsel’s claims, we implore them to take a good, long look in the mirror and ask whether their loved ones would respect them for trying to make a buck by blatantly lying.”
According to the lawsuit filed, Leon suffered “great bodily injury, pain, mental anguish, and loss of the capacity for the enjoyment of life,” due to the shooting and now asks for $50,000, along with legal fees. The lawsuit also names his label Coke Boys Records, restaurant Miami Finga Licking, and the property owner Gayles Plaza.
“All Defendants failed to properly plan and conduct the music video production in a safe manner,” the lawsuit claims. “Instead, they consciously ignored the extreme risks of harm to its participants, including [Leon].”
The Licking restaurant did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.
“It was an extremely unfortunate situation that led to multiple people suffering serious injuries,” Leon’s attorney Josiah Graham tells Rolling Stone. “The most egregious thing is that people were beaten up and robbed at this video shoot and the [production] did not shut down.”
“Montana continued the video shoot, moved it across the street, and those assailants returned and shot the place up,” he adds. “Things like that should not be able to go on.”
Back in January, police confirmed that multiple people had been injured at the music video shoot. Montana was reportedly both celebrating the release of his mixtape and filming a video, although the owners of the restaurant said at the time they were “not aware” that a video was being filmed. (The restaurant is accused in the lawsuit of not taking prior precautions to prevent the shooting.)
Following the shooting, Montana addressed the incident on social media, saying he was “celebrating the release of my CB6 mixtape with friends” and made no reference to a music video. “We, unfortunately, were at the wrong place, at the wrong time when an incident took place that left people hurt,” Montana tweeted at the time.
This story was updated at 2:45 to include a statement from French Montana’s attorney.