Singer Disputes Jack White Fight Claim

01/26/2004 01:00PM

Von Bondies frontman Jason Stollsteimer is scoffing at the self-defense claim made by White Stripes singer Jack White, who faces assault charges stemming from their widely reported confrontation in Detroit last month.

"It wasn't a fight," Stollsteimer tells Launch.com. "I never even hit him. I didn't know who it was. It took till the second thing he said for me even to realize who it was 'cause I hadn't seen him in a year."

White, 28, is accused of repeatedly punching 25-year-old Stollsteimer in the face, and earlier this month pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor aggravated assault charge. He has been ordered to stand trial on March 9 in Michigan. If found guilty, White could face up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine.

On Dec. 21, White went to a Detroit police precinct and gave a statement saying he struck Stollsteimer in self-defense on Dec. 13. The altercation between the two musicians began shortly before midnight at the Magic Stick club, where both men were attending a concert, according to the Associated Press.

Wayne County Prosecutor Mike Duggan said the two had an ongoing disagreement that began after Stollsteimer criticized White's role in producing the Von Bondies's first album (2001's "Lack of Communication").

According to a police report originally posted on the Smoking Gun Web site, Stollsteimer said White "became enraged" after Stollsteimer declined to speak with him. White then pulled him to the ground and hit him seven times, Stollsteimer said.

Police said the Von Bondies singer was treated and released from a Detroit hospital. White only suffered some redness to the face and cuts on his left hand, according to the report. In his remarks to Launch.com, Stollsteimer professed to have no answer as to why White came at him. (At the moment, both the White Stripes and the Von Bondies happen to be on tour in England.)

"I have no idea about the real reason why -- I mean, I'm not him -- 'cause that's the question everybody wants to know," Stollsteimer is quoted as saying. "I don't know. It could be a million things, but nothing that I have done in the last two years has anything to do with it."

Stollsteimer told Launch.com that even though he recently had surgery in Los Angeles to repair his retina, he might still sustain permanent eye damage from last month's incident.

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