4

Jury Clears Patti LaBelle in Airport Assault

^
Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

A federal jury on Tuesday cleared the Patti LaBelle and her entourage in the beating of a West Point cadet at George Bush International Airport.

Richard King sued LaBelle, her son, her hair dresser, and a 400-pound body guard after the March 2011 brawl. Attorneys for LaBelle and her crew claimed that King was drunk -- and with a blood alcohol level of 2.8, we think "drunk" might be an understatement -- and fresh off a flight home for Spring Break when he picked a fight with the Godmother of Soul. An airport security video showed King pushing a man near LaBelle's limo before the crew sprang into action, beating King back toward a pillar.

King claimed he couldn't finish classes and graduate from West Point because of a traumatic brain injury he suffered in the attack. Last week, right before trial was set to start before an all white jury, US District Judge Keith Ellis delayed proceedings and ordered a new jury pool -- good call, considering King's lawsuit called LaBelle's entourage "violent, paid thugs" and "personally hired hoodlums," and LaBelle's counterclaim alleged that a belligerent King hurled a racial slur at her before the fight.

King's attorney, John Raley, told the Chron he was shocked by Tuesday's verdict, saying, "I am bewildered. The videotaped evidence was so clear."

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.