UPDATE (3/22/2022): Machine Gun Kelly is blaming his fame and “false” news reports for his failure to answer a battery lawsuit filed against him by a Los Angeles parking lot attendant.
In a new filing obtained by Rolling Stone, the musician whose legal name is Colson Baker is asking a judge to set aside his recent default in the case and allow him to fight the civil claim that he pushed and threatened a disabled parking lot attendant outside a Studio City bank on Aug. 23.
“As a result of my profession, there are many stories, accounts, reports and other write-ups citing my stage name, ‘Machine Gun Kelly’ [that] purport to describe activities in which I have been involved. When I followed them regularly, I found that many of the publications ranged from false to only partially true,” Baker wrote in a new sworn statement explaining his delay.
“These publications occur sometimes multiple times each day. As a result, I no longer make it common practice to read publications about me or those that cite to my entertainment name, Machine Gun Kelly, to determine whether or not something therein is truthful, newsworthy or should place me on notice,” he said.
He wrote that before the deadline to answer the lawsuit passed, he was not served with the complaint and did not see the official publication of the summons. It was only after that date that he finally noticed.
“Upon learning of the lawsuit, I promptly retained counsel,” he wrote. “I further note that I deny the allegations made against me in this lawsuit.”
The court did not immediately rule on his request.
Originally published 2/10/2022
What he hasn’t done is respond to the assault and battery lawsuit filed against him by a disabled parking lot attendant in Los Angeles five months ago.
In the complaint filed Sept. 8, the attendant, John Tilli, alleged Kelly pushed and threatened him during a Studio City encounter the morning of Aug. 23.
Kelly’s failure to answer the complaint led a Los Angeles County Superior Court clerk to find him in “default” this week. That means the musician, born George Barnes, has lost his right to appear in the case. It also sets the stage for Tilli to request the $25,000 civil penalty previously mentioned in his paperwork as well as damages according to proof.
According to the lawsuit, Tilli is a 49-year-old military veteran with unspecified “disability limitations.” His filing describes him as a “sensitive, soft-spoken, gentle, quiet person” who is “well-liked” by the employees at the bank branch where he was working the day of the incident.
Tilli claims he arrived at his job that morning, found Kelly and a group of people filming something in the bank’s parking lot and questioned whether the group had a permit. After Tilli learned the group didn’t have permission, he asked them to leave “multiple times,” the lawsuit states.
It was when Tilli was escorting a bank employee through the chaotic scene that Kelly purportedly pushed Tilli from the front while a member of his entourage pushed Tilli from behind, the complaint states. Kelly also began “yelling threats” at Tilly, leaving him “shaken up” and “upset,” the lawsuit alleges. (A representative for Kelly did not respond to a request for comment.)
Filings in the case allege Tilli tried to serve Kelly with his lawsuit 19 times as a residential address in Sherman Oaks, but no one was ever home. When that didn’t work, Tilli published the complaint in the Los Angeles Daily Journal.
According to the complaint, Tilli has “a mental and/or emotional condition that was made worse by Kelly’s wrongful conduct.” It claims Tilli’s disability made him “more susceptible to injury that a normal healthy person would have been.”