Tyrese has decided to take Home Depot to court and is suing the chain for racial profiling after a bad experience at one of their stores.
According to PEOPLE, the Fast & Furious star and two of his associates filed a suit against the home improvement chain claiming they “experienced outrageous discriminatory mistreatment and consumer racial profiling” during a visit to their West Hills, California store in February.
The trio are seeking over $1 million in damages, which Tyrese argues equates to the amount of money he’s spent at Home Depot over the years. They’re also demanding punitive damages along with a “declaratory judgment” saying that Home Depot’s actions violated California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act.
The incident in question transpired on February 11. Tyrese initially waited in the car while Eric Mora and Manuel Hernandez went inside to do some shopping, but the latter two couldn’t complete the transaction since it was on the former’s credit card.
Once Tyrese entered the store to confirm the purchase, it didn’t take long before fellow shoppers started to notice the actor and singer.
“The cashier gave no reasonable explanation other than repeating ‘store policy’ and demanded to see a form of identification,” the lawsuit alleges. “The manager refused to speak with Gibson in person. It was only after significant heated discussion with the cashier that Gibson was finally able to complete the transaction.”
The lawsuit added that Home Depot’s employees “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.”
Someone ultimately recorded the tense exchange, with a clip on YouTube showing Tyrese leaving the store on FaceTime with one of the cashiers. At one point he says: “I understand policy, but you know you’re being extra right now.”
He continues: “My problem with what just happened is I’ve been living three blocks from here for 10 years, and if this is a policy… Why are you the first person to stop my team and my ability to come in here when I’ve been coming to this particular Home Depot for 10 years?”
Watch it below.
The lawsuit adds that Home Depot “has refused to take any responsibility” for the incident and claims the company “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.”
In a statement to People, a spokesperson for the company wrote: “Diversity and respect for all people are core to who we are, and we do not tolerate discrimination in any form.”
It continued: “We value Mr. Gibson as a customer, and in the months since this happened, we’ve reached out to him and his attorneys several times to try to resolve his concerns. We will continue to do so.”
The legal battle comes shortly after Tyrese was ordered to pay his ex-wife nearly $650,000 in child support. He accused the judge who presided over their dispute of being “racist.”