British rock star Sir Rod Stewart, 76, and his son have pleaded guilty to a 2019 New Years’s Eve altercation with a security guard at an exclusive Florida hotel.
Court records released on December 17 state that the singer and his son, Sean Steward, 41, entered a guilty plea to the misdemeanour charges of battery. The Stewarts were accused of physical assault with security guard Jessie Dixon at the luxury Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach on December 31, 2019.
The dispute was evoked when Dixon refused to allow the “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy” singer and his son into a private New Year’s Eve party at the hotel.
According to The Mercury News, the Father and son were ordered to appear in Palm Beach Country court in February 2020, after witnesses told police that Sean Stewart shoved Dixon and Rod Stewart followed suit by punching him in the chest. Rod Stewart argued that Dixon had become argumentative, but police say video surveillance shows that it was him and his son who were the primary aggressors.
The Guardian reports that in court papers, Dixon said Rod Stewart “punched him in the rib cage with a closed fist and that Sean Stewart shoved him.
However, in his statement, Stewart’s attorney, Guy Fronstina said no one was harmed during the incident and the jury did not find Stewart guilty of the accusation.
“…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,” he said.
Stewart and his son dated and signed the plea agreement on Monday, meaning that neither of them will need to appear in court and formal adjudication of the charge was withheld. There will be no trial.
This isn’t Sean Steward’s first run-in with the law. In 2008, while on the US reality TV show, Celebrity Rehab, Sean had opened up about his heroin and prescription drug abuse and struggles with addiction. Sean has also faced multiple accusations of fighting and assaulting people at parties and well-known Los Angeles nightclubs.
In her piece, “An Inside Look at Life in an Exclusive Boys’ Club, New York Times writer Virginia Heffernan called out Sean’s “obnoxious prince” behaviour. Saying Sean “comes across as rotten, moody and entirely ridiculous. Nowhere in his dealings do we see Rod Stewart’s scrappy wit and enlightened roguish pose.”
According to Fronstina, neither will do any jail time or be required to pay fines or be placed on probation.
A spokesperson for Palm Beach State Attorney, Dave Aronberg, whose office prosecuted the case, said that Dixon had agreed with the outcome of the case.