Jack White Pleads Guilty to Slugfest

03/10/2004 3:21PM

In a Detroit courtroom Tuesday, White Stripes lead singer Jack White pleaded guilty to assault and battery stemming from his fight with Von Bondies lead singer Jason Stollsteimer, and was ordered to pay a $500 fine and $250 in court fees, attend anger-management classes and not contact Stollsteimer, the Associated Press reports.

White, 28, was accused of repeatedly punching Stollsteimer, 25, during a Dec. 13 concert at the Motor City's Magic Stick club, where both men were in the audience for a show. White originally was charged with misdemeanor aggravated assault, and he could have faced up to a year in jail, but he will avoid jail time under the plea deal.

In court on Tuesday, White explained his actions, saying he hadn't seen Stollsteimer in a long time but had heard that he had made some allegations against him in the press and to mutual acquaintances.

"I went up to ask him to say it to me face to face," White said.

He said Stollsteimer ignored him so White spat at him and the fight began. He said Stollsteimer landed on his hand, which he had recently injured in a car accident. White said he then punched Stollsteimer in the face a couple of times.

Police said the blows caused a nosebleed and Stollsteimer's right eye to be bruised and swollen. He was taken to Detroit Receiving Hospital, where he was treated and released. 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 the incident.

Outside the courtroom, White told reporters he regretted the incident, and his attorney, Walter Piszczatowski -- who also has repped Eminem and Marilyn Manson in their various brushes with the law -- said White had put the incident behind him.

"This was a personal matter and not a press promotion," White said in a statement outside court. "I regret allowing myself to be provoked to the point of getting into a fistfight, but I was raised to believe that honor and integrity mean something and that those principles are worth defending."

Wayne County Prosecutor Mike Duggan said that the two musicians 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."

Meanwhile, the Von Bondies' latest album, "Pawn Shoppe Heart," hit stores on Tuesday and has been scoring critical raves.

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