SUIT AGAINST JANET OK'D Apr 11, 2007 14:37:24 GMT -5
Post by david g. on Apr 11, 2007 14:37:24 GMT -5
April 11, 2007 -- Janet Jackson will have to answer questions under oath about an alleged bodyguard malfunction.
A Manhattan judge has denied a bid by the pop superstar to get a $120 million assault suit against her thrown out, and said she'll have to give a deposition in the case.
Leonard Salati, 41, claims that two of Jackson's bodyguards grabbed and choked him when he tried to pass her a note at Club Marquee in February 2004.
Jackson's lawyers argued the suit should be tossed, because she and her co-defendant boyfriend, Jermaine Dupri, had only one bodyguard working for them at the Chelsea hot spot that night, and he was a "Caucasian."
Salati had said the men who roughed him up were African-American - and one of them was 300 pounds. Lawyers for Jackson and Dupri said their bodyguard was 5-foot-8 and 180 pounds, and submitted a copy of his driver's license to back up their claim.
In a ruling made public yesterday, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Rolando Acosta let the case go forward, noting that despite Jackson's assertions to the contrary, the club - which also is being sued - said she had at least three bodyguards, and two of them were African-American.
The judge also noted the bodyguard's license does "not show that he is Caucasian. Indeed, to this court's untrained eye, he appears to be a medium dark Latino, [who] could pass as being African American."
Acosta called Jackson's lawyers' legal move an unsuccessful "Hail Mary" aimed at keeping their clients from testifying.
"Notwithstanding counsel's valiant effort to shield Ms. Jackson," the law grants "no exemptions based on celebrity status," the judge wrote, and she will have to give a deposition.