Home Depot is denying Tyrese’s account of events in a new court filing.
The filing is in response to the singer and actor suing the popular retail store for racial discrimination in August.
According to court documents obtained by Fox Business, Home Depot said that surveillance video shows no interaction between the veteran R&B singer and three cashiers involved in the shopping trip gone wrong. They also said that there wasn’t “any disturbance” while Tyrese was at the cash register and that his transaction was completed after he showed his identification.
Finally, Home Depot said they lack “sufficient knowledge” to truly know how long Tyrese has been shopping at the store or how much he’s spent as a customer.
Once Tyrese got word of Home Depot’s response, he issued one of his own via his lawyer, according to the aforementioned outlet.
“Eric Mora, Manuel Hernandez and I are 100% committed to taking a stand against The Home Depot in defense of our own civil rights and the civil rights of all who have been subjected to discriminatory practices and consumer racial profiling,” Gibson said.
“The Home Depot and its team of attorneys seek to deny our claims and silence our voices as reflected in their most recent court filing. But we will not back down. We will not be bullied. We will use all of our energy to correct the conduct of the company, in service of the broader goal of a shared future free from discrimination.”
According to PEOPLE, the Fast & Furious star and two of his associates filed a suit in August against the home improvement chain claiming they “experienced outrageous discriminatory mistreatment and consumer racial profiling” during a visit to a Home Depot in West Hills, California store in February.
The trio are seeking over $1 million in damages, which Tyrese argues equates to the amount of money he’s spent at Home Depot over the years. They’re also demanding punitive damages along with a “declaratory judgment” saying that Home Depot’s actions violated California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act.
The incident transpired on February 11. Tyrese initially waited in the car while Eric Mora and Manuel Hernandez went inside to do some shopping, but the latter two couldn’t complete the transaction since it was on the former’s credit card.
Once Tyrese entered the store to confirm the purchase, it didn’t take long before fellow shoppers started to notice the Hollywood actor.
“The cashier gave no reasonable explanation other than repeating ‘store policy’ and demanded to see a form of identification,” the lawsuit alleges. “The manager refused to speak with Gibson in person. It was only after significant heated discussion with the cashier that Gibson was finally able to complete the transaction.”
The lawsuit added that Home Depot’s employees “purposely interfered with and refused to process the transaction based on their groundless suspicion of Gibson, Mora and Hernandez arising from their skin color, and in the case of Mora and Hernandez, their national origin.”
Someone ultimately recorded the tense exchange, with a clip on YouTube showing Tyrese leaving the store on FaceTime with one of the cashiers. At one point he says: “I understand policy, but you know you’re being extra right now.”
He continues: “My problem with what just happened is I’ve been living three blocks from here for 10 years, and if this is a policy… Why are you the first person to stop my team and my ability to come in here when I’ve been coming to this particular Home Depot for 10 years?”
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