British rock star Rod Stewart and his son Sean pleaded guilty to assault during an altercation with a Florida hotel security guard on New Year's Eve in 2019, the prosecution announced Friday.
Neither of the two men was formally sanctioned, however. The 76-year-old singer, known for his songs Maggie May and You Wear It Well, and his family were at the Breakers hotel in Palm Beach when they were denied access to a party being held in a kids section of the plush establishment. Rod Stewart was accused of punching the guard overseeing the event in the chest when he refused to yield to his son's protests.
The ex-singer of the Faces, recognizable by his hoarse voice and blond hair, was prosecuted for assault, a minor offence that is usually punished by a fine. But after their guilty plea, the judge decided not to impose any penalty on the singer and his son, which means that they are not formally convicted and at the same time saves the court a long and costly procedure. No one was injured during this incident and a jury did not find Sir Rod Stewart guilty, the star's lawyer, Guy Fronstin, said in a statement to AFP.
The singer pleaded guilty to avoid an embarrassing and unnecessary public trial, he said. The victim of the assault, Jessie Dixon, was not opposed to this solution, a spokesman for the prosecutor told AFP. Rod Stewart, who has more than 30 albums to his credit, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2016. At the end of 2019, he had revealed that he had successfully fought prostate cancer. His son Sean, 41, is known for his addiction and his antics. In 2002, he had been arrested for assaulting a man in front of a restaurant in Malibu, a fight stopped by the intervention of the actor Dean Cain, who played Superman in the TV series Lois and Clark. In 2015, he was again arrested at the Miami airport filming on the baggage belt, in an area closed to the public.