An Anaheim, California, family is suing K-Ci & JoJo's Cedric "K-Ci" Hailey for nuisance, infliction of emotional distress and negligence for allegedly exposing his genitals at a recent Los Angeles concert.
In a class action lawsuit filed Thursday in California Superior Court in Los Angeles, Robert and Robin Garcia, along with their daughter Rachel, seek unspecified damages and psychological counseling expenses from Hailey and the concert's producers, KIIS-FM, Clear Channel Communications and SFX Entertainment. Hailey already faces criminal charges for indecent exposure, a misdemeanor crime, in the alleged incident.
"We're trying to send a message to K-Ci and other artists that you have to draw the line somewhere," Harry Scolinos, the Garcia family's lawyer, said. "The emotional distress caused may not be that severe, but [Hailey] needs to be brought to task for his actions. The criminal charges for exposure in California, like most states, is a slap on the wrist."
According to the Garcia family's suit, K-Ci dropped his boxer shorts and exposed his genitals to a Shrine Auditorium crowd of 4,000 people during K-Ci & JoJo's set at KIIS-FM's Jingle Ball, an event that was heavily promoted as "suitable to the tastes of the entire family, including the very young." Other performers at the December 16 concert included Christina Aguilera, Third Eye Blind, Bon Jovi, Macy Gray and 98 Degrees.
The suit describes Hailey as a "sexual deviant," citing a 1993 case in which Hailey pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual contact for fondling a woman and was sentenced to probation and community service. The suit also accuses the concert's producers for booking a group "widely known in the industry for their sexually charged stage performances" on the same bill as Aguilera, "a positive role model for children."
"If it was an adult concert, it wouldn't be a big deal, but this event was programmed for teenagers," Scolinos said.
Offices at MCA Records, K-Ci & JoJo's label, were closed Wednesday (December 27), as were the offices at SFX Entertainment. Spokespersons for KIIS-FM and Clear Channel Communications did not return phone calls.
KIIS general manager Roy Laughlin, however, said in a statement last week that the station "apologizes to all of our listeners and fans for K-Ci's actions. We do not condone such behavior."
In Hailey's criminal case, the Los Angeles Police Department is reviewing video footage and photographs to determine how it will handle the nearly 25 exposure charges filed against the R&B singer, according to Sgt. John Pasquarielio (see "Police Request Video Of K-Ci Performance").
According to police reports, several concertgoers told officers outside the show that Hailey had "grabbed himself" and "played with himself" during the duo's performance. Police set after the singer, but arrived backstage just after he was seen exiting the building in a limousine. Hailey is believed to have gone to his home in Charlotte, North Carolina, and police still are considering whether a warrant will be issued.
X, the latest album from K-Ci & JoJo (Joel Hailey), was released
December 5 and will land at #42 on next week's Billboard 200 albums chart. The brothers are expected to reunite with their original group, Jodeci, next year.