Tyrese Gibson and two other plaintiffs allege they were ‘purposely interfered with’ by Home Depot employees while they attempted to make a transaction in February
Tyrese Gibson is taking The Home Depot to court.
On Wednesday, Gibson, 44, and two men described as associates of the Fast and Furious star who “regularly provide construction services to Gibson,” filed a lawsuit against the home improvement company alleging that the three “experienced outrageous discriminatory mistreatment and consumer racial profiling” during a visit to the company’s West Hills, Calif. store in February.
Gibson and the two other plaintiffs, Eric Mora and Manuel Hernandez, are seeking over $1 million in damages — to reflect the amount Gibson says he’s spent at Home Depot locations over his lifetime — in addition to punitive damages and “a declaratory judgment declaring that” Home Depot’s actions violated California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act.
The lawsuit alleges that when Gibson, Mora and Hernandez visited the company’s West Hills location on Feb. 11, the actor and musician decided to wait in his vehicle for the other two men to complete their transaction with his credit card when fans of Gibson began noticing he was in the store.
Though the lawsuit claims Gibson told the cashier he would allow Mora and Hernandez to use his credit card to complete their purchase, it alleges “the cashier refused to complete the purchase transaction” even after Gibson returned to the store.
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“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 also alleges that the store’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.”
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Gibson appeared to record at least part of the encounter as it happened in February. A portion of the clip uploaded to YouTube shows the actor on a FaceTime call with the cashier after he left the store as he tells the cashier: “I understand policy, but you know you’re being extra right now.”
The actor also said in the clip, which runs over 10 minutes long, that he has been visiting the same Home Depot retail location for 10 years, as he spoke to the store’s employees about his frustrations with the visit.
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“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?” he can be heard saying.
The lawsuit also claims that The Home Depot “has refused to take any responsibility” for the incident and that 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.”
“Gibson, Mora and Hernandez are taking a stand against The Home Depot to hold it accountable,” the lawsuit reads. “The company needs to understand that there are consequences for discriminatory mistreatment and consumer racial profiling.”
A Home Depot spokesperson told PEOPLE in a statement Thursday: “Diversity and respect for all people are core to who we are, and we do not tolerate discrimination in any form.”
“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,” the statement continued. “We will continue to do so.”
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