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Pattie LaBelle Sued Over West Point Cadet Airport Beating

Paul Morigi, WireImage

Lady Marmalade‘ singer and R&B queen Pattie LaBelle has been accused of ordering the beating of a West Point cadet at Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas on March 11. According to the Houston Chronicle, Richard King, 23, was talking to his brother on his cell phone while approaching the airport’s passenger pickup area where Labelle’s limousine happened to be parked.

In security-camera footage of the incident, King is suddenly struck and thrown against a concrete pillar by LaBelle’s body guards and an unidentified woman. King subsequently tries to get up and leave the area but he falls continuously.

“Apparently, defendant LaBelle believed King was standing too close to her (no doubt expensive) luggage, even though he was oblivious to her presence and the danger he was in,” King’s attorney John Raley said in the lawsuit filing. “LaBelle lowered the window of her limousine and gave a command to her bodyguards. They sprang into action.”

Watch Raw Footage of the Violent Altercation

According to police, the young cadet smelled of alcohol after the event, but the man insists he had only two drinks during his flight. King is seeking punitive and actual damages from the 67-year-old singer, three members of her entourage, an airport taxi dispatcher and the airport itself. The plaintiff has since been expelled from West Point because of the incident and placed in a mentorship program that requires active duty.

“There can never be any justification for the savage battery of King,” the lawsuit proclaims. “Defendant LaBelle is hot-tempered herself … She was a full participant in the cruel attack on King. She ordered it, and never tried to stop it.”

To add more confusion to the situation, a police report filed that evening states that an altercation occurred between King and LaBelle’s limo driver Zuri Edwards. The driver told police that he had been struck on the cheek by a verbally aggressive King. Edwards, however, did not want to press charges and said that he “could not remember what happened before or during the attack.”

At the end of the video, Houston police officers are shown taking photos with LaBelle while King is wheeled out of the area on a stretcher. King’s blood can been seen a few feet away.

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