Patti LaBelle Says Cadet Called Her The N-Word Before Beating
LaBelle Files Countersuit, Claims Racism
Patti LaBelle has filed a countersuit against the man who claims the R&B diva ordered her bodyguards to pounce on him, claiming he spewed racial slurs at her entourage before provoking the altercation.
LaBelle was sued earlier this month by West Point cadet Richard King who claims he was waiting for a ride outside of Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston when he was attacked by three of LaBelle's bodyguards, unprovoked.
According to the suit the beating resulted in a concussion, lingering dizziness and headaches for the 23-year-old cadet.
Surveillance video from the airport does show King being pushed around and punched by members of LaBelle's security detail, but LaBelle's countersuit filed earlier this week, claims King initiated the altercation.
The R&B singer's counter suit clams King was wandering outside of the terminal intoxicated and yelling obscenities. She claims King attempted to into her limousine and was politely asked to step away when he flipped on her.
“King directed profane and racial slurs towards LaBelle. When LaBelle's son (Zuri Edwards) heard the profanity and racial epithets, he informed King that the woman in the limousine was his mother,” the suit said.
“Without warning or provocation, King violently and deliberately punched Edwards in the face.”
King admits to having a few drinks on the flight, but denies that he was drunk.
Surveillance video shows talking on a cell phone when one of Labelle's bodyguards seems to push against him. King then appears to push back.
“Several eyewitnesses saw and clearly heard the incident. The counter-claim is completely without merit,” said Kings attorney, John Raley in a statement.
Both parties are seeking unspecified damages.
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