Palm Beach News

Rod Stewart, Palm Beach Resident, Sued for Soccer Ball Stunt

Rod Stewart had only two ambitions growing up: to be a footballer or a musician. As a North London boy, he performed poorly in school and turned his attention to sport. An Arsenal fanatic, he tried out for a third-division team in 1960 only to be rejected. Not skipping a beat, the lad turned his attention toward singing, ultimately ending up as the voice -- if not the name -- of the Jeff Beck Group. Not bad for a second choice.

But as a recent lawsuit in Las Vegas claims, the aging rocker's past meant he had a pretty swift kick. Even if he wasn't good enough for a third-division team 50 years ago, he should have known his own strength. According to a recent court filing, combining his two lifelong passions has now gotten Rod the Mod in trouble.

Stewart is well-known for his soccer-inspired antics onstage. "There's three things I have to do: 'Maggie Mae,' 'Do Ya Think I'm Sexy,' and kick the balls out," he told the Hollywood Reporter in May 2013. "People feel cheated if they don't have those things."

This time, though, concertgoer Mostafa Kashe says he was cheated in the form of being slammed in the face. According to his lawyer, he was "unexpectedly hit in the face by a soccer ball kicked from the stage" that fractured his nasal cavity. He's suing Stewart, Caesar's Palace, and concert promoter AEG Live for more than $10,000 in damages.

The raspy rocker can certainly afford it, given that he owns a $26 million Palm Beach estate. He's a legend who helped set the bedrock for heavy metal, and he's been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. Now 69, Stewart winters in one of the most exclusive real-estate areas in the world. He's active in the community, even attending the annual Palm Beach Policeman's Ball each January.

But just because the damages might not make a dent in his fortune doesn't mean it's not going to be obnoxious to deal with. Perhaps he should have listened to himself in his interview with the THR. The magazine asked him if he'd ever pummeled someone with a soccer ball.

"A couple of near-misses. But I've got a pretty deadly right foot, so I'm pretty accurate with it," he said. "What I do is, as you probably remember, try and lob them up in the air so people can see them coming."

Send your story tips to the author, Allie Conti.

Follow Allie Conti on Twitter: @allie_conti

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Allie Conti was a fellow at Miami New Times and a staff writer for New Times Broward-Palm Beach, where her writing won awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists. She's now the senior staff writer at Vice and a contributor to the New York Times, New York Magazine, and the Atlantic.