Akon In Court For Fantossing
Akon has been in the headlines a lot lately, but for all the wrong reasons!
Turning the other cheek to heckling, aggressive or clingy fans must provide some testing circumstances for performing artists. But in today's world where law suits run rampant, it's interesting to note that cash-flash celebs, in the heat of the moment don't seem to herald the danger of beefing with punters.
Trav McCoy of Gym Class Heros, Kanye West and Amy Winehouse have all been involved in altercations with fans of late (read story here), and now chart-stomper Akon is joining the ranks, as he entered court this week on charges of harassment and endangering the welfare of a minor.
In what some are calling a misguided display of machoism, the 'Smack That' hitmaker allegedly threw a 15-year-old concertgoer off the stage in June 2007. According to an eyewitness account and a video of the incident, a member of the crowd at the annual KFEST concert threw something at Akon. He asked the crowd for help identifying that person, who was brought up on stage by security. Akon then lifted the 15-year-old boy on his shoulders and threw him back into the crowd.
it's not just the boy who's suing a civil lawsuit has also been filed against Akon by the woman upon whom the 15-year-old landed.
Akon pleaded not guilty to to charges of second-degree harassment, a violation; and endangering the welfare of a minor, a misdemeanor; the presiding judge has since ruled that Akon will stand trial in December. The RnB star is likely to face one year and 15 years in jail if convicted. Subsequently, many believe Akon will simply settle out of court before the court date.
The victim, now 16, also appeared in court with his parents. The kid and his mum declined to comment, but his dad did say, "We didn't expect this to happen. We'll see."
As for Akon, his people have issued their own statement.
It says, "We are pleased that Judge Epstein adjourned the case to a date certain for either a trial or a negotiated resolution. Akon looks forward to putting this incident behind him, and in the meantime he will continue to meet every requirement set forth by the Court."
But the drama isn't over yet. A video has surfaced on perezhilton.com which shows the hit maker performing at a concert in Guyana, South America. The footage shows Akon trying to crowd surf to reach a camera stand 100 meters away. But when he gets there, it appears that a particularly clingy female fan has the misfortune of getting in the way of Akon's closed fist.
Let's hope Akon has plenty of cash in his piggy bank. All evidence points to a few more out-of-court settlements yet!