Bristol Palin's verbal altercation with a man
at a Hollywood bar in her new reality show, "Bristol
Palin: Life's a Tripp," created some interesting dramatic fireworks. But now
that man has filed a lawsuit against Bristol and A&E Television Networks for
defamation, invasion of privacy, emotional distress and more.
In court documents obtained by ET, Stephen Hanks contends that he was
approached by Bristol last September at the Saddle Ranch bar in West Hollywood
and a camera "recorded an exchange without his knowledge or consent." He claims
that after hearing nearby patrons "discussing their general disagreement with
the politics of Bristol Palin's mother, Sarah Palin," one of the other patrons
yelled something out about Palin's political views. The reality star then chose
to confront him and accused him of being "a homosexual" because he did not like
her mother, and "by the way he looked."
Hanks claims that after Bristol left the bar he realized that someone had
filmed the exchange and no release was obtained, nor were there any signs posted
informing patrons that they may be filmed. He adds that Bristol referenced the
altercation in a subsequent In Touch magazine interview, for which "she blamed
Plaintiff for causing her to leave Los Angeles and move back to Alaska," despite
having purchased her new home in Alaska "more than two months before the
encounter with the Plaintiff."
Hanks also claims that the defendants in the lawsuit have "repeatedly
unlawfully used Plaintiff's image for profit in promotional advertising," and
the defendants have refused to "cease using his image for profit."
Citing "harm to his profession and occupation" as well as exposure to
"hatred, contempt, ridicule and/or shame" and more defamation, Hanks is seeking
monetary damages and is also demanding a trial by jury.