Vince Neil is an innocent man.

At least that was the plea entered on his behalf in a Beverly Hills court on Friday. The Mötley Crüe frontman stands accused of pummeling a music producer outside a nightclub last April.

Neil, 41, was not present for Friday's courtroom action. Perhaps that's because he was busy prepping for his close-up in the upcoming WB reality series The Surreal Life.

In the show, likely to debut at midseason, Neil will join about a half-dozen other semi-celebs (such as the long-ago star of TV's Webster) in a Big Brother-esque cohabitation experiment. The semi-celebs will live in a house together for two weeks; we, the audience, will watch their filmed exploits.

It's not known when Neil and his comrades will do the roomie thing. Producers, though, may want to keep one date in mind: November 19. That's when Neil is due back in court for a pretrial hearing on the nightclub incident.

A warrant was issued for Neil's arrest in August. According to prosecutors, on April 28, Neil exited a car at the Rainbow Room in West Hollywood, walked up to producer Michael Schuman, who was standing outside the club, and "slugged him several times in the face."

The slugging part of that account comes from Schuman's attorney. Trent Copeland tells Los Angeles' City News Service the attack was "unprovoked." He also says his client, who has worked with the likes of Little Richard and Pat Boone, didn't even know Neil.

Schuman sustained a broken elbow in a fall to the ground during the alleged attack, Copeland says.

Neil's camp, meanwhile, has called the charges "ridiculous" and maintained that the "Girls, Girls, Girls" man will be "fully exonerated."

Neil's Mötley life dates back to the early 1980s, when he hooked up with the likes of Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx to crank out such hits as "Dr. Feelgood" and "Shout at the Devil" and provide plenty of material for The Dirt, the 2001 autobiographical tell-all tome about the oft-fractious band. While still with the Crüe, Neil has been playing solo gigs of late--a recent one, in August in Colorado, ending when someone apparently threw something at the stage, prompting Neil to exit the building.

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