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Tags: erica thomas | eric sparkes | georgia | go back | defamation | libel | lawsuit

Man Denies Telling Ga. Dem to 'Go Back,' Considers Lawsuit

erica thomas speaks through a megaphone at a pro-choice rally in georgia
Georgia state Rep. Erica Thomas, D-Mableton, speaks during a May 21 protest against recently passed abortion ban bills at the Georgia State Capitol building in Atlanta. (Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 22 July 2019 06:24 PM EDT

The man accused of harassing a Georgia state representative and telling her to "go back where you came from" at a supermarket near Atlanta says he is considering filing a defamation lawsuit, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

Eric Sparkes says he called Erica Thomas a "selfish little [expletive]" because he thought she had too many items in the express checkout line at a Publix grocery store.

"I am in the process of exploring with attorneys a defamation lawsuit against her," he told the AJC.

Thomas, a vice chairwoman of the House Democratic caucus, in a video posted to Facebook on Friday evening said Sparkes cursed at her in front of her young daughter and told her to "go back" to where she came from.

She went back to the grocery store to talk to reporters about the incident Saturday. Sparkes was there, too, and the two feuded on camera.

Sparkes said he called her a "selfish little [expletive]," but nothing else.

"That's all I said after that, and I walked out of Publix," he added. "Her words stating on Twitter, and her video, stating I told her she needs to go back where she came from are untrue. I am Cuban."

Thomas backtracked in a subsequent interview with Channel 2, telling the news station: "I don't want to say he said, 'Go back to your country,' or 'Go back to where you came from.' But he was making those types of references is what I remember."

She said Monday she was not retracting her original statement.

Conservatives have slammed Thomas.

"Once you lie to the people you serve, you should no longer have a seat at the table," Georgia state Rep. Tamala Clark, R-Suwanee, said. "Erica Thomas needs to resign, so that the sanctity of Georgia is not in question."

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A Georgia man is considering filing a defamation lawsuit against a Georgia state representative who he claims falsely accused him of saying "go back where you came from" at a supermarket near Atlanta, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.
erica thomas, eric sparkes, georgia, go back, defamation, libel, lawsuit
Monday, 22 July 2019 06:24 PM
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