Justin Timberlake. Picture: Getty Images
A homeless man who has made a plea for Justin Timberlake to help him after being mocked in a video is not suing the singer-actor for financial damages, his lawyer said on Tuesday.
"There's no lawsuit here against Justin Timberlake. We're not seeking a financial deal, it's a criminal case," Gloria Allred told AFP.
The high-profile lawyer is publicizing the demands of the man, who goes by "Eddie" and who has lived for six or seven years off and on Skid Row, a Los Angeles neighborhood with a big homeless population.
In an open letter, Eddie asked for Timberlake to arrange a meeting with him "very soon" through Allred "so you can understand my situation, and so that we can talk about this situation involving so many others who are homeless."
He also said he wanted to take Timberlake on a tour of Skid Row and speak with him about "what you can do to help us."
"It's an appeal," Allred said. "It's an opportunity for him to come forward, to accept the invitation to go on Skid Row with Eddie, understand their day-to-day struggle and think about what he can do to help."
The video, initially posted on the Gawker website, has a series of Los Angeles vagrants, street musicians and others talk to camera, sending wishes to Timberlake and Jessica Biel for their recent Italian nuptials.
Timberlake posted an open letter in October on his website about the video.
"I had no knowledge of its existence. I had absolutely ZERO contribution to it," he said of the video, whose makers are said to include his friend Justin Huchel.
"I think we can all agree that it was distasteful, even though that was not its intention."
Allred, a feminist lawyer known to defend people against celebrities, said she was going "step by step" through a case she sees as symbolic of the vast inequalities in Los Angeles between the very rich and famous and those who have no job or roof over their head.
"We'll see if he accepts the invitation," she said about Timberlake. "The ball is in his court."
On Monday, Allred challenged Timberlake and his friends to "take action to provide meaningful assistance to 'Eddie' and others like him."
"This issue is not just about fans being upset or anyone being offended by a video," she said. "It is about people being down on their luck and in desperate need of help by those who are in a position to provide it."