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Kid Rock Speaks Out On Lawsuit
Requesting “a fair shake — my full day in court,” Kid Rock has issued a statement asking Oakland County Circuit Judge Shalina Kumar to reconsider last week’s decision to throw out his suit against a woman who says the rock star assaulted her at his Independence Township home.
Kumar dismissed Rock’s suit because he did not give a deposition by a courtordered deadline. The judge also granted Milford resident Kelly Ann Kozlowski a default on the claims she made against Rock in her countersuit. In court, Kumar asked: “What’s special about (Rock)? Why does he get to violate a court’s order?”
Rock’s statement, delivered this weekend to The Oakland Press, seeks to answer that question and make his case for a reconsideration.
In the document, Rock, whose real name is Bob Ritchie, acknowledges that “I should have taken care of the issue of my deposition in this case sooner” and “not have let my outof-town tour schedule and my duties as a single father interfere with the judge’s order.”
He writes that he’s “never asked for special treatment for Kid Rock” but feels that he should “not be punished, or passed judgment on ... for being him, either.”
Answering the judge’s question about what makes him “special,” Rock cited his history of charitable work, both locally and nationally, as well as his trips overseas to entertain U.S. military personnel during the holidays.
“Being ‘Kid Rock’ has allowed me ... to help others in need not only locally, but worldwide, and I do believe that indeed makes me ‘special,’” he wrote.
Rock, who’s been touring to promote his new album, “Rock N Roll Jesus,” which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts in October, says he offered eight different dates for the deposition and offered to play any costs associated with it.
“I think the judge’s punishment is disproportionate to my scheduling problem,” Rock says in the statement. “If any punishment was appropriate for missing the deadline, it could have been a fine — as the other attorney even suggested!
“This case should be decided on the facts,” Rock adds, “not on a scheduling issue where the other side didn’t even argue they were hurt by the brief delay. I’m looking forward to having one thing revealed in this matter, and this is the truth.”
Kozlowski’s suit against Rock, which alleges assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and defamation, is scheduled to go to trial Feb. 5.
She says Rock invited her to his house to listen to music in the early morning hours of March 8 and then became angry when she decided to leave, throwing her into the fender of her car and to the ground. She made a police report, but no charges were filed against Rock.
Rock denied assaulting her and sued her for trespassing, invasion of privacy and defamation, saying that she damaged his reputation with false accusations. Rock’s suit seeks unspecified damages. Kozlowski’s attorneys are planning to file a motion asking Kumar to set an amount of damages in her case. Rock also is facing a misdemeanor battery charge stemming from an Oct. 21 brawl in a Waffle House restaurant outside Atlanta. He’s planning to go on tour in early 2008.
(Oakland Press staff writer Ann Zaniewski contributed to this story.)
Kid Rock’s full statement regarding Oakland County Circuit Judge Shalina Kumar’s decision last week:
Let me make one thing perfectly clear: I should have taken care of the issue of my deposition in this case sooner. I should not have let my outof-town tour schedule and my duties as a single father interfere with the judge’s order. Even though others arrange my schedule, I’m ultimately responsible for it.
To answer the judge’s question which has been in the newspaper, “What’s special about him?” I want to say that there is a big difference between some of the things you read in the press about Kid Rock, and me — Bob Ritchie. Like the woman on the other side of this case I am a single parent. I have tried to share my success with others, including entertaining the troops in Iraq twice (and going there for a third time this Christmas). I’ve donated a large amount of time and money to the Rainbow Connection — a local charity for terminally ill children — Jack’s Place for Autism, the Fallen Hero's Memorial Fund for our community's police officers killed in the line of duty, as well as countless others. Being “Kid Rock” has allowed me, Bob Ritchie, to help others in need not only locally, but worldwide, and I do believe that indeed makes me “special,”
I think the judge’s punishment is disproportionate to my scheduling problem. Apparently the other side’s lawyers think so too — newspaper reports suggest they were “high fi ving” in the hallway after. I want the facts in this case known. I fi led this case because a woman who was rude and disruptive in my studio told me she was going to sue me when I had her leave. She claimed I “pushed her in the snow” and had a lawyer involved in a day or two. The case was investigated and charges were never brought against me. I knew what was coming and that goes with the territory of being Kid Rock, even when I’m at home. A friend told me I needed to be careful, what if this woman would have said I tried to take advantage of her? Well, we all know what the headline would have read before I was even investigated. And that scared the hell out of me, enough to file a suit against this woman for lying and trying to, what I believe, “extract money” out of someone who has worked hard, become successful and been more than an upstanding citizen in my community, a situation I think most will agree goes on far to often in this country to people who own businesses and work hard to be successful.
I think a jury should decide this case — the whole case. Before the judge’s ruling on Nov. 14, I had offered to be deposed on Oct. 14 (admittedly on short notice) and any of three days — Nov. 12, 13 or 14 — and later also offered the day after Thanksgiving, the 26th, 27th or 28th, and had also offered to pay for the cost of the deposition. If any punishment was appropriate for missing the deadline, it could have been a fi ne - — as the other attorney even suggested!
I’m ready to be deposed in this case, pay for the cost of the deposition and make a donation to one of the charities I’ve mentioned above in an amount to be determined by the judge if this case goes forward. This case should be decided on the facts, not on a scheduling issue where the other side didn’t even argue they were hurt by the brief delay. I know it’s been reported that I was at a hockey game with my son — that’s true. It was a Sunday, and I value the time I get with him as well as the exposure I get for my album by being at high-profi le events. Currently I am the NHL Artist of the Month, and as part of that was asked to attend the game.
I’ve never asked for special treatment for being Kid Rock, but I’ve always expected not to be punished, or passed judgment on, especially by a court of law, for being him either. I’m looking forward to having one thing revealed in this matter, and this is the truth. I hope when all is said and done that the headlines will be as big and spread as far as the initial charge. All I’m asking for is a fair shake — my full day in court.
— Bob Ritchie
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