Celebrity judge Greg Mathis may be in hot water after he allegedly spat on a valet driver outside a Detroit restaurant during a heated exchange over where the driver had gone for so long with his keys.
Mathis, 59, parked his Rolls-Royce Friday evening at Flood’s Bar and Grille, a soul food restaurant in Detroit, Mich. Things apparently turned volatile, however, when the valet, while retrieving another vehicle, kept Mathis’ car keys in his pocket and kept the judge waiting around in the process, according to TMZ.
When the valet returned with Mathis’ keys, and explained the mishap and apologized for unknowingly taking the keys, Mathis allegedly became enraged and launched into a profanity-laced outburst, spat on the driver and left the restaurant, according to the report.
While the Detroit police confirmed to the Detroit News that the alleged incident occurred around 8 p.m., they declined to identify a suspect in the matter.
“Preliminarily, we got a report that the victim was working valet parking at the time, when the suspect allegedly spit on him,” police Sgt. Nicole Kirkwood told the outlet. “Apparently, the suspect became upset over whether the victim had his car keys, so the suspect allegedly spit on him.”
However, Mathis, who has starred in his own courtroom series since 1999, denied ever spitting on the valet driver in an interview with TMZ and explained that he actually had to wait 40 minutes for the driver to return with the keys to his Rolls-Royce.
“I yelled at him and asked why would he take my car for 40 minutes, or the keys to my car,” Mathis said. “He began to apologize, and then he said something I think [like], ‘I went to the store,’ or something that was more ridiculous than the apology. So we had a little verbal back-and-forth, and that was the extent of it."
"There was no spitting,” he clarified.
“I don’t know whether this is a money grab, which I suspect it is,” the judge added. “People get accused all the time and it’s not true.”
Mathis has yet to be charged in the case and indicated that he hasn’t been contacted by authorities. He further explained to the gossip site the real reason he needed to head back to his vehicle.
“I’d just come out with some soul food on my stomach, and have a 30-year stomach condition that required medicine that was in my trunk,” said Mathis. “So that didn’t help. I needed my stomach medicine.”
Conversely, the valet’s attorney, Karri Mitchell, maintains that Mathis did indeed spit on her client and insists the shirt worn by the driver will be DNA-tested for saliva.
Mitchell also claimed to the tabloid that Mathis meandered over to a group of bystanders and allegedly bragged about his actions. The lawyer says two people can corroborate her client’s story. Mathis maintains that the allegation is completely bogus, adding that no less than six witnesses can attest to his account of how the incident went down.
Representatives for Judge Mathis did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.