Shia LaBeouf claims fight with bartender he called 'racist' was protected free speech

Actor Shia LaBeouf is hoping to get out of a lawsuit by claiming that his rant against a bartender was protected free speech.

The “Transformers” actor’s lawyer is hoping a California court will throw a way an assault and defamation lawsuit filed by the bartender that stemmed from an altercation in which LaBeouf allegedly called him a “f---ing racist” when he refused to serve him more alcohol.

According to the court filing, first obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, the star’s attorney, Briand Wolf, argues that defendant David Bernstein has no case as everything LaBeouf said, while annoying and rude, was protected under his First Amendment right. As the outlet notes, Wolf is claiming that LaBeouf’s statements were clearly opinion, and thus not legally defamatory. Furthermore, he writes that the incident would have been a “wholly private encounter” were his client not famous - an effort to dismiss the claim as frivolous.

“Indeed,” Wolf writes. “Plaintiff’s own admitted conduct in threatening to hit Defendant with a Grey Goose bottle was more outrageous than anything that Defendant is alleged to have done.”

It’s unclear how the court will rule on this matter at this time.