Why Dave Chappelle Is Now Being Sued By The Heckler Who Threw A Banana Peel At Him
During a 2015 performance in Sante Fe, New Mexico, Christian Englander threw a banana peel at Dave Chappelle. Englander is now suing the popular comedian, claiming Chappelle's presumed bodyguard struck him twice while he was being restrained, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Englander is seeking punitive and other damages from Chappelle "in such amount as may be found appropriate," due to non-medical expenses, physical and emotional pain and suffering, lost income and earning capacity and “loss of enjoyment of life.”
Englander, who is white, claims when he threw the peel it was not racially motivated; he said he threw the refuse because he was upset by something Chappelle said in his comedy set. The Sante Fe New Mexican reports Englander was specifically enraged because Chappelle made fun of his friend.
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Following the 2015 incident, Englander was charged with battery and disturbing the peace, but those charges were dropped because Chappelle chose not to participate in the prosecution.
Englander wrote in the lawsuit that the alleged assault on his person happened “under the clear direction of defendant Chappelle."
“Defendant Chappelle had a duty to plaintiff to adequately and properly hire, train, supervise and discipline his security personnel and other employees and agents to ensure that members of the public were not subjected to assault, battery or excessive use of force,” Englander's suit states.
Chappelle has yet to respond to the suit. He has, however, worked the incident into his set, using what has now been termed "banana-gate" as the opening joke in the 2017 special Deep in the Heart of Texas: Dave Chappelle Live at Austin City Limits.