“Love & Hip Hop Miami” star Christopher Michael Harty has said he was forced into signing a settlement agreement tied to a lawsuit filed against Canadian rapper Tory Lanez because of threats against his life.
The model, nightlife promoter and TV personality, who goes by the name Prince, sued Lanez in 2020 for battery, assault and negligence stemming from an altercation at a Miami nightclub in 2019.
Prince had claimed that Lanez, whose real name is Daystar Peterson, along with his security and staff started the altercation and beat him up, leaving him with bruises and contusions. Harty later added another incident in the complaint, alleging that Peterson’s employee punched him in the face at Peterson’s direction outside another Miami club in 2021.
The lawsuit seeks more than $30,000 in damages.
However, as the case continues in court, Harty and Peterson’s attorneys are embroiled in a battle over whether the case had been settled and should be dropped.
Peterson’s attorneys claimed that Harty agreed to settle for $20,000, according to documents filed in Miami-Dade County court. However, Harty and his attorneys have since rejected the agreement and have yet to drop the case, alleging that Harty only agreed to the settlement out of fear for his safety.
Harty alleged in a sworn affidavit that at a June meeting held outside of court to talk about the settlement, Peterson showed up with one of his employees. Harty claimed it was the same employee who had punched him outside Vendôme nightclub in Miami Beach in 2021 and made threats against his life.
Both men aggressively asked Harty to sign the settlement agreement, he claimed in court documents. Harty also claimed the man had a firearm that was visible during the meeting.
“I thought that if I did not sign the agreement that my life may be in danger,” Harty said in the court filing. “I would not have signed that agreement otherwise.”
Peterson’s attorneys, Andell Brown and Kadisha D. Phelps, were not immediately available for comment Friday.
Richard and Mason Wolfe, Harty’s attorneys, told The Times that the June meeting took place at Peterson’s music studio in Miami with no lawyers present. Richard Wolfe also claimed the agreement their client signed had nothing to do with the lawsuit, but was related to an apparent contract between the two parties. Wolfe said Peterson’s attorneys did not specify what the contract was related to.
“They know they have no chance of convincing a judge that this release refers to this lawsuit,” Harty said, referring to the agreement.
The court will hear arguments from both sides in late February on whether Harty must still uphold his signed settlement agreement in light of the recent allegations.
Peterson is currently jailed in Los Angeles County while he awaits sentencing for shooting Megan Thee Stallion in 2020 in the Hollywood Hills after a party.
During the trial which drew widespread attention, a jury convicted Peterson of assault and weapons offenses. Peterson faces more than 20 years in prison for the gunshots that jurors concluded he fired at the feet of the rapper, whose real name is Megan Pete, in a fit of rage.
Harty has also recently faced criminal charges for an alleged domestic violence incident involving his girlfriend. He was arrested and charged in 2021 for felony battery and kidnapping, although charges were eventually reduced to a misdemeanor, said Harty’s criminal attorney, Michael Grieco.
Jurors couldn’t reach a decision for the domestic violence charges and a judge declared a mistrial in December due to improper comments made by prosecutors during the trial, Grieco said. A new trial is expected to begin in the spring.
Harty was also arrested in October for separate domestic violence charges, Grieco said, but the case was also dismissed in December.
Source: LA Times