A New York City woman has filed an assault and battery lawsuit against Philadelphia native Kevin Hart claiming that the comedian’s security team “seriously and permanently injured” her in an incident outside a screening of his film The Upside earlier this year.
In the suit, which was filed Monday, plaintiff Carmen Marrero claims that security guards knocked her down outside a New York City performance center on Jan. 9 following a screening of the film. A crowd gathered outside the event, which Hart had attended, and the comedian’s bodyguards “violently contacted” Marrero “without … provocation” when exiting the venue. The resulting fracas caused Marrero to “fall and sustain serious personal injuries” during the incident, the suit states.
Marrero, who is described in the lawsuit as an “elderly woman,” is seeking an unspecified amount of damages against defendants Hart, his production company Hartbeat Productions, security company Interpol Private Security, venue operators SAG-AFTRA and Gladden Properties, and an unnamed security guard. The suit alleges that the defendants were “negligent” and “reckless” in failing to adequately train their security team.
While court documents do not indicate the nature of Marrero’s injuries, Page Six reports that attorney Richard Russo has said that his client suffered a broken orbital bone, as well as potential vision damage, as a result of the alleged assault.
“She’s been in pain, has problems with her face and eyes,” Russo told Page Six. “She is worried about medical bills, issues with her eyes. She is still feeling the pain.”
Released on Jan. 11, The Upside was filmed partially in Philadelphia, and starred Hart alongside actor Bryan Cranston. The film is a remake of the 2011 French dramedy The Intouchables, and retells its story of a paralyzed billionaire (Cranston) and his unlikely live-in caregiver (Hart).
Hart previously was sued in connection with his security detail in 2017, when a Philadelphia man filed a suit claiming he was physically and verbally assaulted outside Hart’s performance at Lincoln Financial Field in Aug. 2015. In that lawsuit, plaintiff Jay Collins sought about $50,000, but the outcome of the case has not been made public.
This is the latest controversy for Hart, who earlier this year dropped out as host of the 2019 Oscars after decade-old homophobic tweets resurfaced online. At the time, Hart said he did not “want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists,” and later apologized for the tweets.
Currently, Hart is back in theaters as part of the cast of The Secret Life of Pets 2.