Los Angeles - Jeremy Clarkson is being sued by the Top Gear producer he punched earlier this year.
The 55-year-old presenter was sacked by the BBC in March after it was revealed he'd attacked Oisin Tymon during a row over a hot meal, and the producer is now suing Clarkson and the broadcasting corporation for racial discrimination.
Lawyers for Clarkson and the BBC are reported to have attended a closed hearing with Tymon's legal team at a London employment tribunal on Friday.
The case centres on the "verbal abuse'' that is alleged to have accompanied the physical attack.
It was previously claimed that Clarkson called Tymon a "lazy Irish dick" during the fracas.
The law firm Slater & Gordon have confirmed that they've been engaged by the producer.
A statement from the BBC said: "We will be responding to this claim, but will not be commenting further at this time."
An internal inquiry was launched by the BBC shortly after the incident - which took place at a hotel in Yorkshire when Clarkson was told there was no hot food available following a day of filming - and BBC Scotland director Ken MacQuarrie found that Tymon had been subjected to an "unprovoked physical and verbal attack".
The producer told police at the time of the attack that he didn't want to press charges, despite having suffered swelling and bleeding to his lip.
Tymon drove himself to hospital after the incident and is said to have believed he'd lost his job.
BBC director general Tony Hall announced in March that Clarkson had subjected an "innocent party to a physical altercation accompanied by sustained and prolonged verbal abuse of an extreme nature" and insisted he had "no choice" but to sack him.
Meanwhile, Clarkson is set to front a new motoring show on Amazon Prime alongside James May and Richard Hammond while BBC Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans is taking over as the new host of Top Gear.
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