Ted Nugent has filed a multiple count civil complaint in Federal Court in Grand Rapids, Michigan arising from the cancellation by Muskegon, MI officials earlier this year of his Summer Celebration concert, which had been scheduled in Muskegon for June 30. The lawsuit was filed August 21 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan. A jury trial was demanded.
According to the complaint, city officials and others wrongfully accused Nugent of making "derogatory racial remarks" during the course of a May 5 radio interview with a Denver radio station (KRFXFM) and canceled his only area performance. Defendants in the case include The City of Muskegon, its Mayor, Stephen Warmington, City Manager, Bryon Mazade, the concert promoter (Meridian Entertainment of Lansing, MI) and others.
"The widespread national and international negative media reports, based on accusations of racism against me by certain individuals from Muskegon responsible for the cancellation of my SummerFest concert there, were most damaging, vile and hurtful," says Nugent. "I heard from family and friends and media associates all across America and overseas and continue to do so, how they had heard I 'made derogatory racial slurs and epithets against minorities,' which I did not. Having proudly celebrated my respect and reverence for black artists and entertainers throughout my long career, these hateful allegations of the most damaging of all insults were 100% the opposite of what I believe in and represent."
" In a world of political correctness, there is no more reputation destroying term
than racist, and the alleged statements falsely attributed to me could not have been more inaccurate or misleading, completely counter to what I stand for," he adds. "With a full professional team of hired headline tour technicians on payroll, the financial losses due to this unfair cancellation were damaging to my overall touring income. But the widespread accusations of racism were slanderous and libelous to my good name as a representative of law enforcement organizations and charities like DARE, NRA, GOA, Brass Roots, National Field Archery Association, many conservation organizations, my Spirit of the Wild TV show, my Ted Nugent Kamp for Kids charity, my United Sportsmen of America group, Hunt of A Lifetime, Sunrize Safaris, and numerous speaking engagement considerations across the country."
"My very livelihood depends on my reputation of believability, integrity and community good name, which were put in terrible light because of these false, extremely negative accusations. I suffered many sleepless nights and painful anxiety, as did my wife and children who also suffered from the attack on our good family name."
According to Mike Novak, Nugent's Detroit-based attorney: "Here is what happened. The Muskegon Summer Celebration officials canceled a binding, contracted on-sale engagement based upon remarks Ted had 'supposedly' made on a Colorado radio program. Ted, in a written statement, restated to the Celebration exactly what was said (which was unequivocally not racist) and the Defendants canceled the date anyway! Ted had no choice other than to file this lawsuit. The City of Muskegon officials responsible for canceling this date acted without any personal knowledge of the facts, and they will be held accountable in court for their attack on this artist. Their indefensible actions amount to the most blatant form of censorship. Ted will be justly compensated for the harm he has endured. His name will be cleared." –by Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen