Home Depot is pulling receipts to defend themselves after Tyrese accused them of racial profiling and discrimination a month ago in a $1 million dollar lawsuit.
According to the Daily Mail the retailer has answered back after the actor-singer, 44, in August filed a suit in Los Angeles Superior Court linked to a February 11 incident at the retailer’s West Hills, California location.
Home Depot filed new court docs in the matter, reviewed by TMZ Thursday, in which the company says that surveillance footage from the incident contradicts a number of claims Gibson made in his suit.
The Fast & Furious actor in his suit said that he and two construction workers he had employed had their civil rights violated in an incident in which he clashed with store employees over whether he needed to be physically present to process a payment.
Home Depot said that the How You Gonna Act Like That singer visited the store and took a number of different items to the cash register, where everything was scanned in by the cashier.
Gibson did not pay for the goods at the time, returning back to shopping for 25 minutes, the company said in legal docs. The cashier voided the items Gibson presented to continue being able to help customers in his absence.
The company said that the Watts, Los Angeles native was misleading in his complaint that a computer glitch caused the transaction to be delayed.
In his suit, Gibson said that fans began to recognize him, so he left the establishment and waited in his vehicle in the parking lot while the items he picked up were supposed to be rung up.
Gibson said in his suit that he had his two workers there to use his credit card for the purchase; and that a cashier was fine with the arrangement and told him he was fine to wait outside.
Home Depot said in its rebuttal that footage indicated that Gibson did not speak to any of the cashiers prior to leaving the store initially.
Gibson said that he told a cashier via FaceTime that he was fine with the transaction, but that the cashier insisted he show his identification in person to finish the sale.
Home Depot said that footage showed the cashier asking Gibson for his ID, and explained to him that he needed to be in person to present his identification.
Gibson eventually came back into the store and was involved in a tense discussion with workers, Home Depot said in legal docs.
Gibson filed legal documents in Los Angeles Superior Court in August claiming that he and two construction workers he had working for him had their civil rights violated in an incident at the store.
The two workers Gibson had working for him, Eric Mora and Manual Hernandez, are also named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Fox11 reported, citing court docs.
Gibson also claims the company violated California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act; and had been negligent in its hiring, supervision and retention of employees in the lawsuit, in which he’s also seeking punitive damages.
Gibson in the legal filing that the $1 million was for compensatory damages, based on how much he estimates he has spent at the home improvement store over the years.
Gibson’s lawyers said the entertainer ‘experienced outrageous discriminatory mistreatment and consumer racial profiling first-hand inside the Home Depot retail store in West Hills.’
It continued: ‘The company needs to understand that there are consequences for discriminatory mistreatment and consumer racial profiling.’
Gibson’s legal team said he and the plaintiffs remain ‘committed to doing their part to advance civil rights and put an end to the despicable practice of discriminatory mistreatment and consumer racial profiling at the Home Depot, and, by extension, all retail stores.’
He said that the cashier refused to put through the transaction for his workers and ‘gave no reasonable explanation other than repeating store policy and [demanding] to see a form of identification.’
Gibson said that the transaction was finally put through following an argument with the cashier, and that the manager would not speak with him.
He said in court docs that ‘there is no other plausible explanation for the mistreatment of plaintiffs’ besides racial discrimination.
In the suit, Gibson’s lawyers said that the employees involved in the incident ‘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.’
A video of the altercation was posted to YouTube in which Gibson was seen in a tense discussion with staffers at the home improvement retailer.
‘You’re being a racist – and that’s the truth,’ Gibson told a woman in the clip. ‘And you’ve got that racist energy all over you because you’re not even willing to apologize, fix it and point out the inconsistencies of … what the policies are.’
In the clip, Gibson pointed to his long patronage of the store, spanning a decade.
Gibson told TMZ that he was especially emotional on the day of the incident, as he had spoken by phone with his ‘best friend’ Brandy Norwood prior to re-entering the store.
He said that he called Brandy to wish her a happy 44th birthday, and she was upset since it was also the anniversary of her hero Whitney Houston’s death at the age of 48 in 2012.
Gibson told the outlet that he and his team had afforded Home Depot ‘every opportunity in the world to clean this up, and they just refused.’
Gibson’s team said in legal docs reviewed by People that Home Depot had ‘refused to take any responsibility’ over the incident, and instead they had ‘doubled down, lawyered-up, and treated Gibson, Mora and Hernandez and what happened to them as not worthy of any due consideration – instead inferring that they are the problem.’
A rep for Home Depot told People in a statement in August, ‘Diversity and respect for all people are core to who we are, and we do not tolerate discrimination in any form.