Tyrese says his lawsuit against Home Depot “was not about PR”

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R&B singer Tyrese Gibson is speaking out about his recent lawsuit filed against Home Depot, saying that the racism complaint is not about publicity. 

“This was not about PR or trying to be disparaging in any way,” Tyrese told ABC News on Tuesday. “I’ve never sued anybody.”

Tyrese said he was compelled to sue in order to take a broader stand against what he claims is racist behavior in Home Depot stores — a view company officials reject.

The Fast & Furious actor filed a $1 million lawsuit against the home improvement store August 9, alleging that he and two other men “experienced outrageous discriminatory mistreatment and consumer racial profiling” at a Los Angeles store on February 11.

According to the complaint, Tyrese, Eric Mora and Manuel Hernandez were in the process of checking out at Home Depot when “store clerks 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 as well.”

The suit says that Gibson had stepped away during the lengthy checkout process after some fans noticed him in the store. The suit says he didn’t want to cause a “disturbance.”

The lawsuit alleges that when Mora and Hernandez presented Gibson’s credit card in his absence, the cashier refused to complete the transaction. When Gibson returned and requested to speak to a manager, he was refused a conversation; it was only after a heated discussion with the cashier that the transaction was completed, the suit says. 

Gibson told ABC News that after the incident in February, his team privately reached out to Home Depot about what happened. Gibson said the company recently responded by allegedly “acting as if it never happened.”

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