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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A new front has opened in the battle between Perez Hilton and the Black Eyed Peas manager accused of hitting him: a civil lawsuit.

The celebrity blogger sued the Peas' manager in Los Angeles on Wednesday for battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. He is seeking unspecified damages in excess of $25,000.

The suit states Hilton is seeking to protect his rights to free speech and claims Molina attacked him because he made critical comments about the Black Eyed Peas' new album.

Molina was arrested in Toronto early Monday after he allegedly punched Hilton following a heated argument between the blogger and Black Eyed Peas leader

An e-mail sent to the group's publicist was not immediately returned Wednesday.

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