On Wednesday, Gibson along with two other men described as associates of the actor who “regularly provide construction services to Gibson,” filed a lawsuit against Home Depot. The suit alleges that the three of them “experienced outrageous discriminatory mistreatment and consumer racial profiling” during a visit to the home improvement store in West Hills, California back in February.
Gibson, Eric Mora, and Manuel Hernandez are seeking over $1 million in damages in addition to punitive damages and “a declaratory judgment declaring that” Home Depot’s actions violated California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act. The $1 million is to reflect the amount the Fast and Furious star says he’s spent at various Home Depot locations over his lifetime.
The lawsuit alleges that when the three men visited the company’s West Hills location on February 11, Gibson decided to wait in his vehicle for the other two men to complete their transaction with his credit card after fans began to notice the star in the store.
While the lawsuit claims Tyrese told the cashier he would allow Mora and Hernandez to use his credit card to complete their purchase, it alleges “the cashier refused to complete the purchase transaction” even after Gibson returned to the store.
“The cashier gave no reasonable explanation other than repeating ‘store policy’ and demanded to see a form of identification,” the lawsuit alleges. “The manager refused to speak with Gibson in person. It was only after significant heated discussion with the cashier that Gibson was finally able to complete the transaction.”
The suit goes on to allege that the Home Depot employees “purposely interfered with and refused to process the transaction based on their groundless suspicion of Gibson, Mora and Hernandez arising from their skin color, and in the case of Mora and Hernandez, their national origin.”
Gibson recorded at least part of the encounter as it happened, a portion of which was uploaded to YouTube. The clip shows the actor on a FaceTime call with the cashier after he left the store as he tells them: “I understand policy, but you know you’re being extra right now.”
Tyrese also said in the clip that he has been visiting the same retail location for 10 years.
“My problem with what just happened is I’ve been living three blocks from here for 10 years, and if this is a policy… Why are you the first person to stop my team and my ability to come in here when I’ve been coming to this particular Home Depot for 10 years?” he says in the video.
A Home Depot spokesperson told PEOPLE in a statement Thursday: “Diversity and respect for all people are core to who we are, and we do not tolerate discrimination in any form.”
“We value Mr. Gibson as a customer, and in the months since this happened, we’ve reached out to him and his attorneys several times to try to resolve his concerns,” the statement continued. “We will continue to do so.”
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