A Tarrant County court has opened a legal avenue for a Fast & Furious actor to pursue.
Judge Melody Wilkinson on Monday granted Tyrese Gibson a chance at a new trial after his attorneys argued that the actor, most famous for his role as Roman Pearce in the Fast and Furious movies, was not served with a defamation lawsuit in 2012.
Wilkinson also nullified a $75,000 default judgment against Gibson related to the suit.
Wilkinson’s ruling came in the 17th District Court in Fort Worth.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Attorneys for Gibson referred all questions to officials with Voltron Entertainment. Voltron officials could not be reached Tuesday.
Cynthia Banks of Fort Worth filed the defamation lawsuit in February 2012 claiming that Gibson slandered her when he said her book about his mother was false and that she stole money from his mother.
In June 2012, the court awarded Banks $75,000 in a default judgment when neither Gibson nor his attorneys appeared or filed documents related to the lawsuit.
Gibson claimed he first learned of the lawsuit on Sept. 5, 2014, from a source at the celebrity news outlet TMZ, according to court documents.
Banks could appeal Wilkinson’s latest ruling, the documents say.
Brett Wyatt of Fort Worth, Banks’ attorney, did not return telephone calls Tuesday.
Court documents say Charles Tyron, a process server, attended Gibson’s concert at the Majestic Theatre in Dallas on Feb. 10, 2012 — the same day the defamation lawsuit was filed — approached Gibson backstage afterward and delivered the lawsuit petition. He told Gibson that he had a “package from Cynthia Banks,” and again stated “this is for you,” according to the documents.
But Gibson’s attorney argued that never happened.
Banks wrote Drunk for Twenty Seven Years about Priscilla Gibson’s battle with alcohol addiction. She also attempted to stage the play Drunk, The Stage Play, in 2011, according to court documents.