08/11/2004 at 01:00 PM EDT
A photographer is suing Christina Aguilera, claiming her bodyguard beat him up and spit on him after taking an unflattering picture of the singer as she was exiting a trendy Hollywood nightclub in May of last year.
Celebrity shutterbug David Keeler claims in the suit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles that he snapped pictures of the Grammy-winner while she "appeared to be intoxicated and needed assistance walking to the car," Agence France-Presse reports.
According to Keeler's claims, once Aguilera's car sped off, her bodyguard Vernon Warren stepped forward to hit him in the mouth and spat on him, at the same time scolding him to "learn respect."
A "dazed, in pain and bloodied" Keeler was also struck again by another man hired by Warren, the suit alleges.
Besides Aguilera, the company that apparently employed the bodyguards also was named in the legal action, which seeks unspecified damages and punitive damages.
There has been no comment from Aguilera's camp.