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Bashing victim says eardrum ‘shattered’ during assault

1 Girl 5 Gays panellist Max Claude wishes he'd gone to police sooner

Max Claude says he continues to have trouble hearing after a man broke a glass bottle over the back of his head Saturday morning.

JUNE 14: 1 Girl 5 Gays panellist Max Claude filed a police report June 14 after he and a friend were gaybashed by seven men outside the Panasonic Theatre early Saturday morning.

He also saw a doctor for the first time since the attackers broke a glass bottle over the back of his head that night. He had complained of an inability to hear from his right hear.

A specialist told him that his right eardrum is 20 percent perforated. There’s an 80 percent chance that the wound will heal on its own, but he won’t know until a follow-up appointment in a month.

Claude says the police are taking the case seriously.

“The detective on the case is going to check if the Panasonic Theatre has cameras outside,” Claude says. “The cop that I talked to assumed that there would be.”

Although he was skeptical at first, Claude says he wishes he had gone to police sooner.

“I didn’t anticipate anything good coming of it because I didn’t have what [the attackers] looked like,” he says. “But they took everything down and made me realize that you should always report everything. They may not catch them because of me, but they may catch them for the next person [who gets bashed].”

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JUNE 13: Max Claude says he was just walking home from fly with a friend Saturday morning when a group of seven men shouted “Fucking faggots” and broke a glass bottle over the back of his head. The altercation happened around 3am on June 11 outside the Panasonic Theatre, near Yonge and Charles streets.

Claude, a panellist on MTV’s 1 Girl 5 Gays, says he didn’t suffer any cuts, but his right ear was swollen and he continues to have difficulty hearing with it. Claude has not spoken to police or seen a doctor. He does not know who his attackers are.

“As they’re walking through us they just said, ‘Fucking faggots,’” Claude says. “I turned around to one of them and I said, ‘Are you serious?’ and that’s when I got hit in the head.”

After Claude went down, the attackers took off while Claude’s friend Daniel Bennet took him to the McDonald’s at Charles St to catch his breath. Claude says one of the attackers tried to snatch his friend’s shoulder bag, but Bennet successfully fought him off.

“They just walked away, didn’t run. They didn’t really care,” Claude says.

Although Claude had no open wounds, he says he was in shock and didn’t think of contacting the police or going to the hospital.

“Everything happened so quickly,” he says. “I just wanted to go home and I started to cry in the middle of McDonald’s. My friend was also in shock, and I was just thinking of getting home and being safe.”

News of the attack spread quickly. That same night, Claude says, he bumped into his 1 Girl 5 Gays cast mate Jean-Paul Bevilacqua, who was the first to spread the word.

The @1Girl5Gays Twitter feed announced that a “cast member was jumped and gaybashed by 7 men” to its more than 20,000 followers Saturday. Show host Aliya-Jasmine Sovani sent a similar note to her 32,000 followers and wrote a blog post about it that has been retweeted 193 times and liked more than 500 times as of this posting.

“There are people starving, babies’ lives in danger, bomb attacks, dying animals, our ecosystem is crumbling, our earth is in pain, so many places to direct our energy and passion as human beings for change – for a better future… and people have time to hate on someone’s right to be happy and in love??!!!! Get. A. Life,” Sovani wrote (ellipsis in text).

Claude says that since the attack he’s felt trepidation about being out in public.

“On Saturday I went to the Glee concert, and I’m seeing people look at us and I’m thinking, “Do you have a problem too? Am I too obviously gay?” he says. “I never really thought about it ever before. I’m 6’7. I never thought if anyone’s going to be approached it would be me. [My friends] are thinking if you’re being approached and attacked, what could they do to other people?”

Claude says that later that night, while he was saying goodbye to friends at Yonge and Wellesley streets, a man yelled “Fucking faggots” at them from a car driving up the street.

“It’s another cowardly move,” he says.