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Man claims Chris Brown's bodyguard assaulted him [Updated]

May 27, 2009 |  6:09 pm

Chrisbrown A man is suing Chris Brown, claiming that a bodyguard for the R&B singer assaulted the plaintiff when he photographed Brown at a Los Angeles gym about a month after the singer’s arrest for allegedly beating and choking his pop star girlfriend Rihanna.

In the lawsuit, filed today in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Robert Rosen says he snapped a photo of Brown playing basketball at LA Fitness in Universal City in March. When people around Brown started yelling at him and approaching him, Rosen says, he started running away to avoid confrontation.

Rosen says in the suit that an employee of the fitness center grabbed at him and his clothes to try to stop him. He broke free, but fell as he was going down the stairs. Brown’s bodyguard caught up with him, picked him up by his shorts and began physically assaulting him, Rosen alleges.

All the while, Rosen claims in the suit, he cried out for employees of the fitness center to call the police or 911 because he was injured. Rosen says he was “severely injured and disabled, both internally and externally, and suffered extreme emotional distress.”

The lawsuit also names LA Fitness as a defendant, and alleges negligence, premises liability and false imprisonment, among other things. It seeks medical expenses and other unspecified damages.

Brown was arrested and released on bail after a Feb. 8 incident in which he is accused of physically assaulting and threatening Rihanna, whose real name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, leaving her blood splattered on the inside of the car they were in. He faces a maximum sentence of nearly five years in prison if convicted.

[Updated at 6:15 p.m.: Mark Geragos, attorney for Chris Brown, said in a statement: "This is a specious and frivolous lawsuit by one of the paparazzi seeking publicity and a payday. He’s done this before and lost. We will vigorously defend against this."]

-- Victoria Kim

Photo: L.A. Times