Yuri Star was working as an Uber driver when he met Morgan O'Connor, a dreadlocked former Ralph Lauren Polo
It wasn't a bad gig, Star says — at first. O'Connor and his mother, Palm Beach socialite and former model Pamela O'Connor, agreed to pay him $800 a day, and Star developed a kind of father-son relationship with O'Connor, who is 22.
But Star says that in September, a little more than a month after he began working for him, a belligerent O'Connor assaulted him outside a JFK-inspired West Palm Beach club, leaving him with cuts and bruises.
"He literally went apeshit; pardon my French." Star says. "He literally lost it."
Now Star is suing the O'Connors for assault, battery, and intentional affliction of emotional distress. He also says the pair owes him just over $34,000 in unpaid wages. The lawsuit was filed this week in Palm Beach County court.
The O'Connors do not yet appear to have an attorney, and Pamela O'Connor did not immediately respond to New Times' email seeking comment on the allegations.
But it's not the first time that Morgan O'Connor, who began modeling at the age 15 and was formerly represented by Ford Models, has been accused of a violent outburst. In July 2015, he reportedly slugged a friend's dad in New York during a spat over a $100,000 piece of street art. (He later agreed to return the painting and stay out of trouble for six months in exchange for the charges being dropped.)
Star says that after agreeing to work for the O'Connors last July, he became Morgan O'Connor's driver, travel companion, guardian, and
Things were going well until September 3, Star says, when he drove his charge and his friends to Camelot, an upscale club that's an homage to the Kennedys. Around 3 a.m., according to Star, Morgan O'Connor got into an argument with someone and asked Star to fetch the car. When Star returned, he says, the model was nowhere to be found.
He found O'Connor, beaten up, a block from the club. Inexplicably, the young man lashed out and attacked him, Star says.
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"I couldn't do anything but try to somehow restrain him from going crazy," he says. "He was punching me, kicking me."
Star says that although he called 911, Morgan O'Connor begged him not to press charges because of his earlier legal troubles. Star went home to recuperate and returned to work days later, deciding that a job was a job. But in October, he says, the O'Connors said they could no longer afford to pay him.
Since then, Star claims, they have refused to pay him the money he's owed despite his multiple attempts to resolve the issue amicably. Star's lawyer, Richard Kravets, says that after months of being stonewalled, his client felt his only option was to go to court.
"He just couldn't let it go," Kravets says. "He's just been wronged in so many ways."