One of two men accused of assaulting former All Black Justin Marshall says the sportsman threw the first punch.
Adam Kearns is jointly charged with Tai Neilson, 25, with assault with intent to injure, and both have been remanded on bail to appear in the Queenstown District Court on 19 May.
Mr Kearns, 23, said he was at a strip club in Queenstown celebrating his birthday on 17 April when Mr Marshall became cheeky and punched him in the face. He says he punched Mr Marshall back.
"I was out for my birthday, he got cheeky and it went from there. Just 'cause he's got a big name doesn't mean that he should get off scotch free (sic) for throwing the first hit."
Adam Kearns is the son of Helen Milner, who was imprisoned last year for murdering her husband Phillip Nisbet.
Mr Kearns gave evidence in court against his mother and is now suing her for $60,000 for attempting to frame him.
He says he does not know yet whether how he will plead to the assault charge when he next appears in court.
A curfew has been imposed on Mr Kearns and Mr Neilson, and they are not to associate with Justin Marshall.
Mr Marshall had sought name suppression, but this was turned down by court registrar Fiona Hutchins. He would not comment on the incident and is at home recovering.