Champion boxer David Haye described Dizzee Rascal as “calm and collected” in evidence at the musician’s assault trial.
The grime artist, whose real name is Dylan Mills, denies assaulting his ex-fiancee by pressing his forehead against hers and pushing her to the ground during a “chaotic” row at a residential property in Streatham, south London, on June 8 last year .
The 36-year-old behind chart-topping singles Bonkers and Dance Wiv Me had two children with Cassandra Jones before they split in February 2021.
During his trial at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court on Monday a statement from Mr Haye, who has known the artist for more than 10 years, was read as evidence of Mills’ good character.
The former world heavyweight champion said: “I would describe Dylan as a stand-up and down-to-earth kind of man.
“Dylan is a very easy individual to get along with.
“He remained humble, having built himself up from nothing. He would rarely be seen out at celebrity social functions for the simple reason that he prefers to stay at home and spend time with his family.
Mr Haye described Mills as a “role-model father”.
He added: “It is Dylan’s relationship with his children that I admire the most – despite his fame he always made time for his children.
“I have never seen Dylan lose his temper nor display any signs of anger.
“He was always calm and collected, he would not let anything fluster him.”
The court also heard from Mills’ ex-girlfriend, Tanya Chehrehnegary, who said she was “shocked” when she heard about the allegations.
“There have been many situations where your average person would get quite defensive but he’s always dealt with things in a very calm and collected manner,” she said.
“Whenever we argued he would always remove himself from the situation and always end it on a funny note where I would end up laughing about something and that would be the end of it.”
The court heard that Mills and Ms Jones, who had been together for nine years before their split, argued when Mills dropped off their daughter on the day of the alleged assault.
The prosecution allege that Mills “barged” his way into the property with his son under his arms before “screaming and shouting” and banging his head on the fridge three times.
Mills is said to have approached Ms Jones, “put his forehead against hers and pushed her around the room” and then “pushed her to the ground”, the court heard.
The musician was arrested at the scene and gave a prepared statement during a police interview in which he denied the allegations and accused Ms Jones of causing injuries to his arm.
Mills released his debut album, Boy In Da Corner, in 2003, and his seventh studio album, E3 AF, which refers to his east London postcode and African heritage, is due out on October 30.
He was made an MBE for services to music in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2020, and performed at festivals in August including Live at Lydiard in Swindon and Boardmasters in Cornwall.
Mills, of Sevenoaks in Kent, who was charged on August 2, denies assault by beating.
The trial continues.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.