Rod Stewart pleads guilty to battery over Florida hotel ‘punch’
British pop star Rod Stewart and his son pleaded guilty to battery over an altercation with a Florida security guard, prosecutors said Friday, but neither face jail time or any fines.
The 76-year-old singer of “Maggie May” and numerous other hit songs was accused of punching a hotel guard outside a children’s party at The Breakers, a luxury hotel in Palm Beach, on New Year’s Eve 2019.
The incident reportedly occurred when Stewart, his adult son Sean and other family members including children were refused access to a party in the children’s section of the resort.
The singer — recognizable by his hoarse voice and mop of blond hair — pleaded guilty Monday to simple battery, a minor offense which is generally punishable by a fine.
But the judge withheld adjudication for both Stewart and his son, meaning they are not formally convicted and do not face any criminal consequences, while the court avoids a time-consuming and costly adjudication.
“No one was injured in the incident and a jury did not find Sir Rod Stewart guilty of the accusation,” said Stewart’s lawyer Guy Fronstin, in a statement to AFP.
“Instead, Sir Rod Stewart decided to enter a plea to avoid the inconvenience and unnecessary burden on the court and the public that a high profile proceeding would cause.
“In resolving the case, Sir Rod Stewart was not convicted, nor sentenced to jail, or placed on probation.”
Prosecutors told the judge on Friday that the victim, Jessie Dixon, had no objection to the resolution, a state attorney’s office spokesman told AFP.
Stewart, whose number-one hits included “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)” and “Sailing,” has released more than 30 studio albums.
He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2016.
In September 2019, he revealed he had been given the all-clear after battling prostate cancer.
Stewart’s son Sean has a history of addiction and legal troubles.
In 2002, Sean Stewart was arrested for assaulting a man outside a Malibu restaurant in a fight broken up by Superman actor Dean Cain, and pleaded no contest.
In 2015, he was arrested for riding a luggage carousel into the restricted area of the Miami airport. AFP