HOUSTON (CN) – Mexican pop star Paulina Rubio kneed a man in the “groin area” and stole his camera after he photographed her at a Houston airport, the man claims in court.
Hector Vela sued Rubio in Harris County Court.
“On or about April 26, 2013, Mr. Vela and defendant, a public figure, were aboard United Airlines Flight 735 from Miami, Florida to Houston, Texas,” the complaint states. “The flight arrived in Houston at approximately 9:49 a.m., Central Standard Time. During the de-boarding process, Mr. Vela asked defendant for permission to take her photograph and subsequently took her photograph.”
Rubio “did not grant or deny permission” for Vela to take her picture, according to the complaint.
“Defendant became irritated, abusive and violent and approached Mr. Vela along with her two companions. Mr. Vela immediately offered to delete the photograph; however, defendant ripped the camera away from Mr. Vela’s person and physically assaulted Mr. Vela by forcefully striking his groin-area with her knee, causing pain and contusions,” the complaint states.
“Mr. Vela while visibly in pain, pleaded that defendant return his camera because the camera contained images of an event in Miami which already had a willing buyer; however, defendant ignored Mr. Vela’s pleas and kept the camera.”
Vela says it’s not the first violent incident from the diva.
“Defendant has a history of confrontations. In June 2008, defendant similarly assaulted another photographer. In June 2011, defendant was arrested for an altercation with a police officer. In October 2012, defendant assaulted and battered a former assistant on a flight,” the complaint states.
Vela wants Rubio ordered to return his camera. He also wants $75,000 and punitive damages for infliction of bodily injury, offensive physical conduct and conversion.
He is represented by Ivan Capellan with Hightower, Russo & Capellan of Houston.
Rubio, 41, was a member of the pop group Timbiriche from 1984 to 1991.
She has sold more than 20 million records since releasing her debut album La Chica Dorada (The Golden Girl) in 1992.
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