According to several eyewitness accounts, a violent brawl erupted Wednesday night on the New York set of N.E.R.D.'s forthcoming music video. The outburst nearly shut down production of the clip, which was filmed inside the Madison nightclub, and at least one person was transported to a local hospital for treatment. Both Lindsay Lohan and Kanye West reportedly visited the set at different times during the shoot, but were not present for the disturbance.
The incident occurred just after 9:30 p.m., sources said, and involved two men, both of whom were serving as extras. The clip — for the track "Everyone Nose," from N.E.R.D.'s upcoming LP, Seeing Sounds — will apparently feature a giant, dancing nose (the song's subject is cocaine use) designed by noted artist Kaws, and unclothed strippers.
While N.E.R.D.'s publicist could not be reached for comment at press time, sources who were on set at the time said that none of the band's members were in the club at the time of the fracas. Lohan — who reportedly makes a cameo in the clip — left the set about three hours before the incident took place, eyewitnesses said.
"Some dude, one of the extra guys, jumped another extra and started calling him a pu--- and punching him in the face," said one of the club's employees, who spoke to MTV News but did not want to be named. "They fell against the bar, and there were all these beer bottles up there which were being used as props, and the bottles fell over and broke. The guy who was jumped, his arm got cut, and he started bleeding all over the place. The other dude ran away. It wasn't such a big deal. The police did show up, and the dude that was attacked went to hospital and sat there for two hours before he was seen."
Filming later resumed when several union workers who'd threatened to walk off the set were asked to stay, the eyewitness said, adding that workers were complaining that the production team behind the video hadn't hired enough security staff and felt the work environment had become unsafe.
No arrests have been made, and police are not actively investigating the matter, an NYPD spokesperson said. The man who was assaulted was treated for his injuries and released.
One eyewitness claimed there was "blood everywhere" inside the club after the fight, and that several production assistants were instructed to clean it up. Sources claim the fight broke out while cameras were rolling.
James Demasi of New Day Management, which operates Madison, confirmed that the incident did occur and brought the shoot to a complete halt.
"I think the whole fight was about getting more camera time," Demasi said. "I was there, and the fight was between two males. One of them was taunting the other, and the extra who was being taunted jumped up and assaulted the individual who was taunting him. Some of the glass props broke, and the extra who was behind the attack fell down with the other guy, and cut his arm on the broken glass he fell on. They were pulled apart, and the guy who was attacked went to the hospital."