| News |

Lawsuit: Onetime Polo Model Assaulted Caretaker in West Palm

Yuri Star's injuries after he was allegedly attacked by Morgan O'Connor.EXPAND
Yuri Star's injuries after he was allegedly attacked by Morgan O'Connor.
Courtesy of Richard Kravets
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

Yuri Star was working as an Uber driver when he met Morgan O'Connor, a dreadlocked former Ralph Lauren Polo model and reportedly one-third of a love triangle with Lindsay Lohan and Miley Cyrus. Soon after carting the aspiring musician around West Palm Beach for a night, Star became his full-time caretaker.

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 confidant and occasionally provided manager-like advice.

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.

"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."

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.