Patti LaBelle Accused in Airport Attack

A man is suing soul singer Patti LaBelle, claiming that she ordered her bodyguards to attack him for standing too close to her baggage at an airport last March, Pollstar reported.

In the lawsuit, Richard King, 23, a senior at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, was at George H.W. Bush Intercontinental Airport on March 11 waiting for relatives to pick him up.

Security footage, provided by King’s legal representatives, depicts King in close proximity of LaBelle’s limo. A group of people approaches King, who is later struck to the ground.

The lawsuit also alleged that LaBelle assumed King was standing too near her luggage. Rolling down the window of her limo, the singer “gave a command to her bodyguards” who “sprang into action.”

According to the Houston Chronicle, LaBelle’s driver, Zuri Edwards, said in a police report that King was verbally abusive and struck him after King was requested to move.

King’s lawyer, John Raley, said that he client didn’t know who Patti LaBelle was. Because of his injuries, King, who is on the Army football team, was told by doctors not to play for a year, said the lawyer.

King is seeking unspecified damages against LaBelle, the bodyguards, the airport, and a taxi dispatcher.

Selected Readings: Pollstar, Rolling Stone

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