Patti LaBelle has filed a countersuit against the West Point cadet who claims that she ordered her bodyguards to viciously attack him outside Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport on March 11. The R&B diva's lawsuit accuses Richard King of drunkenly instigating the incident by hurling profanity and racist slurs and attempting to force his way into her SUV, reports the Houston Chronicle.
The altercation was captured on a security camera. Watch AFTER THE JUMP ...
LaBelle's legal petition, filed last week in Houston federal court, is her first response to King's lawsuit, which he filed earlier this month. In her lawsuit, which seeks actual damages and litigation costs, LaBelle says an inebriated King launched the verbal and physical attack without provocation. When Zuri Edwards, 37, LaBelle's son and driver, told King he was addressing his mother, the lawsuit says, the military cadet hit him in the face.
The suit says LaBelle and her staff believed they were in immediate danger and responded with "the degree of force that was necessary." King was taken to a local hospital with a concussion.
King's attorney John Raley, dismissed the lawsuit as "the same false story they told the police. We have the surveillance videotape, which speaks volumes, and neutral eyewitnesses who will testify that Richard was brutally assaulted without provocation," Raley said.
The 23-year-old West Point senior and football player said he had a few drinks on the flight to Houston but denied he was intoxicated.
The altercation between King and LaBelle's entourage was captured on a security camera, but no sound was recorded. Two men and a woman, members of the LaBelle's staff, are seen pushing and punching King, and slamming his head into a concrete pillar.
King suffered a concussion and was "suspended for a year from the football team, effectively ending his football career at West Point, reports CBS Sports. "As if all that wasn't enough, King was also sent into active duty."
In the video, LaBelle does not leave the vehicle until after King was taken away by ambulance. As blood lays splattered on the pavement next to her, LaBelle poses for pictures with a Houston police officer. The lawsuits have forced the Houston Police Dept. to reopen an investigation into how the incident was handled, reports KTRK.
Not sure how the cadet hurled racial slurs at Patti LaBelle if she was unseen and behind tinted windows. Watch AFTER THE JUMP ...