Man sues rapper French Montana over music video shooting outside Miami Gardens eatery
Multi-platinum rapper French Montana is being sued months after one of his music video shoots in South Florida was cut short by a hail of bullets.
As many as 10 people were shot Jan. 5 in the parking lot of The Licking Restaurant in Miami Gardens where French Montana and New Orleans rapper Rob49 were filming a music video for the song “Igloo.” An unknown man opened fire with an assault-style rifle, barricading himself with a $400,000 car that was being used as a prop.
Carl Leon, who said he was injured after being invited to the taping, sued the rapper, whose real name is Karim Kharbouch, and his record label Coke Boys Records on Monday, according to court records. Also listed in the lawsuit: the restaurant and Gayles Plaza, which owns the strip where the shooting took place.
To date, no one has been arrested in connection to the shooting.
READ MORE: Gunfire erupts at Miami Gardens video shoot. 10 wounded, rapper French Montana unhurt
In the complaint, Leon’s attorney Josiah D. Graham of Graham Injury Firm called the shooting a “preventable, foreseeable incident” caused by negligence — and poor security — at the hands of French Montana, his record label, the restaurant and the plaza. Leon is seeking damages beyond $50,000, excluding attorney’s fees and costs.
Before the gunfire, at least two people were robbed at the KFC at Northwest 177th Street and 27th Avenue, according to Miami rapper Ced Mogul. Three men had stolen a promoter’s Rolex, car keys and wallet before the location change, according to Mogul. They blended in with the group and followed them to The Licking, “pretending to watch” the filming.
They fired into the crowd, fleeing in a black sedan. One of French Montana’s bodyguards and Rob49 were injured, according to social media posts. French Montana had managed to escape after being whisked away by security, law enforcement sources told the Miami Herald. About 80 people were at the scene, according to court records.
Leon’s lawsuit alleges that French Montana knew or should have known about possible violence at the video shoot because of “attempts to harm or rob high-net worth, highly visible individuals of their expensive possessions.”
READ MORE: Miami rapper recounts how French Montana video shoot turned violent. New photos emerge
“Given the nature and type of production, the high-net worth individuals and props present, and the prior altercation that occurred on the same evening directly across the street, it was reasonable to anticipate that more likely than not, there would be some sort of criminal activity by wrongdoers that would likely lead to an incident on the premises if left unsecured,” Graham wrote in the complaint.
In a statement to the Miami Herald, Graham called the video shoot an “egregious failure” and vowed to pursue justice.
“This video shoot should have never taken place,” he said. “...Had the proper permits been obtained, law enforcement would have been present to deter any form of criminal activity.”
The rapper’s lawyer Teddy Anastasiou, however, told the Miami Herald that Leon’s account wasn’t accurate because French Montana wasn’t filming a music video. He was celebrating the release of his mixtape at a local restaurant.
Anastasiou also accused Leon of filing a bogus lawsuit.
“Carl Leon was never invited to the restaurant at the night of the incident,” Anastasiou said. “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.”