Patti Labelle ain’t about let some racist kid’s lawsuit steal her joy. Labelle has filed a countersuit against Richard King, the West Point cadet who is suing her for an incident in Houston this March where he claims the diva ordered her goons to deliver a beatdown that allegedly gave him a concussion. In the countersuit Labelle claims King is the one who set the altercation off by addressing her using racial slurs and profanity — painting a much different picture from the one presented in King’s lawsuit.
An attorney for King denies that his client used racial slurs against Labelle. Earlier this month he filed a lawsuit claiming that he was waiting for family to pick him outside one of the terminals at Bush Intercontinental Airport on March 11th, while on spring break from West Point, when three of Labelle’s bodyguards attacked him without provocation. His lawyers claim the alleged attack resulted in a concussion and lingering dizziness and headaches. He’s seeking unspecified damages.
In a countersuit filed by LaBelle last week, her lawyers accuse King of being intoxicated, staggering around outside the terminal, screaming obscenities and trying to enter the singer’s limousine. The suit claims King was politely asked to walk away from the vehicle. Attorneys for King have said the cadet had a few drinks on the flight to Houston but deny that he was intoxicated.
“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.”
Surveillance video from the airport previously released by King’s attorneys shows the 23-year-old cadet being pushed and punched by two men and a woman, all alleged to be LaBelle’s bodyguards. The video has no audio and shows King meandering around on a cell phone when one of LaBelle’s bodyguards appeared to push up against him. It appeared that King then pushed him back. King’s attorneys have said King did not push back but was protecting himself from a punch.
The bodyguards told Houston police King attacked them.
King’s attorney, John Raley, said LaBelle’s claim that the cadet hurled racial slurs at her is part of her “attack” on “an innocent man by telling the same false story they told the police.”
“Several eyewitnesses saw and clearly heard the incident. The counter-claim is completely without merit,” Raley said in a statement.
The case, which was originally filed in Houston state civil court, has been moved to federal court by LaBelle’s attorneys, Raley said.
Raley said the incident was reported to West Point, which suspended the cadet for at least one year and ordered him to go on active duty.
And it looks like one-time may have only contributed to the shadiness of the situation. King was originally named as the suspect in the case after the police’s intial investigation, however since the lawsuit was filed the Houston police department has reopened the investigation, thanks in large part to surveillance video which shows two officers taking photos with Labelle following the alleged altercation.
The initial police investigation named King as the suspect in the case. But since the lawsuit was filed, the Houston police department has reopened its investigation and is also looking into the actions of two officers who were seen on the surveillance video taking photos with LaBelle after the alleged beating.
Labelle is also seeking unspecified damages in her lawsuit.
SMH. This ish sounds like some fu*kery all around. We’ve seen that video and that white boy was definitely slizzed. Who do you think is lying in this case?