OK, Everyone made some mistakes here, but I side with the valet, on points.
Omar Sharif was drinking heavily at a restaurant in Los Angeles. (For you geographically challenged, that is in the USA.) He then tried to pay for his valet parking with a 20euro note. (For those of you not into international finance, that is the currency of record in Europe — we use dollars here.) Its not clear whether or not the actor thought he was in Beverly Hills or the South of France, or maybe both. When the valet, a Latino, told Shariff that he couldn’t accept the foreign currency, the august actor and bridge player reportedly called him a "stupid Mexican" and then hit him alongside the head, drawing blood. Read the entire story here:
Lets face it, if Sharif did what was reported, then he should be dealt with and if the cops and our justice system couldn’t or wouldn’t do so, then a civil suit is the way to go. However, I am a bit concerned that if the actor was drunk, and obviously so, then why was the valet giving him his car anyway. My feeling is that if the driver is so bombed that he can’t figure out where he is, the valet should, out of concern for the driver and all the rest of us on the road, hang the keys back on the rack and call a taxi, or the police.
Now what about the "Hate crime" part. The suit is calling this a hate crime because of the "stupid Mexican" comment. Well, I don’t think it was a hate crime, I think it was assault, and should be dealt with as such. Lets face it, if the story is correct, Sharif showed himself to be a "stupid Egyptian," and an all round horses ass. That appears to be obvious on its face.
I’m certain that Latino Juan Anderson has heard much worse during his life, as all of us Irish, Catholic, Polish, Jewish, Italian, Canadian, Japanese, Chinese, American, Cuban, Armenian, Greek, female, white male, blond, black, glasses wearing, gay, lesbian, cross eyed, handicapped, Republican, Democrat, well pick a flavor, have do done.
We are too thinned skinned. The world is made up of nincompoops who can’t get through the day without the odd ad hominem attack. Sharif didn’t have the brains or sobriety to attack Anderson’s obvious Europhobic reaction or inability to operate in international finance. All he could do in his suave, elegant manner was come up with a "sticks and stones" response. When that didn’t work, with all his international "bon viveur" persona kicking in, escalated the situation with a right cross to the head.
I think our actor friend should have dried out with a day in jail. That would mean much more than having a couple of lawyers duke it out and the settle for an "undisclosed amount." Of course, I wonder if the cops in the city of Beverly Hills would have carted Egypt’s boxing champ off to the hoosegow. We will probably never know that answer to that.
As for Anderson, he should be first counseled by his manager for handing the keys to a drunk, and then promoted for not allowing the situation to escalate into a brawl. My guess is that the young valet could have decked the 75 year old "actor" without even breaking into a sweat.
Seems to me the "stupid Mexican," who happens to be from Guatemala, showed a lot more class than the "legendary actor and gambler."
Just my opinion.