by Charlie O. Mallonee
If you are old enough to remember the movie “All the President’s Men” which chronicled the infamous break-in of the Democratic National Headquarters at the Watergate office complex, the key informant – “Deep Throat” – told the two young investigative reporters “to follow the money”. When unusual events happen to famous people or organizations, Deep Throat’s advice is usually a very solid approach to uncovering the truth – “follow the money”.
According to TMZ Sports, two of the people involved in the melee at The Avenue nightclub in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City early on Monday morning have filed lawsuits against Sacramento Kings players Matt Barnes and DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins was known to have been present during the incident but had not been the subject of the alleged violence that took place inside the club. Only Barnes had been mentioned as a possible suspect in the fight.
TMZ is reporting that Jasmine Besiso and Myrone Powell have filed suit against Barnes and Cousins claiming they were “brutalized” by the players.
The lawsuit reportedly breaks the events down as follows:
- Besiso and Powell claim they were just “hanging out” when Barnes came up to Besiso and started to choke her
- Powell says he then tried to intervene to stop the attack and that is when Cousins became involved and punched him in the face
- After Powell was struck, Barnes supposedly released Besiso and elbowed her in the face, knocking her unconscious
- Myrone says he taken to the ground and Barnes and Cousins kicked and punched him in the head and body
- NYPD was called and responded but Barnes and Cousins were gone by the time the authorities arrived
The “victims” rep says it was a serious situation
- The alleged victims representative called the incident a “vicious and unprovoked attack” according to TMZ
- The same spokesperson called Cousins’ first involvement a “blindside punch”
- The rep also stated the two persons who are suing were taken to hospital by ambulance and treated for what they called serious injuries – which were not specified
The defendants also had something to say
- A representative for Matt Barnes had stated earlier that Barnes and his party were attacked after he accidentally bumped a person in the club’s VIP section
- Barnes himself has encouraged everyone to understand there are two sides to every story
- Cousins or any of his representatives have yet to make a statement concerning the incident
No charges have been filed in NYC
- Initial reports had the NYPD ready to charge Barnes as the assailant based on video it had obtained – presumably from security cameras inside the club
- That informantion was given to TMZ Sports by a person who was “not authorized” to speak about the situation
- There have also been unconfirmed reports that Barnes was in communication with NYPD before leaving the city for Dallas
- The fact that no charges have been filed yet does not mean none will be filed – it is truly a wait and see situation while the incident is investigated
- Obviously, a lawsuit would be enhanced if criminal charges were brought forward and a some type of a guilty verdict or plea resulted from those charges
The Kings have still issued just one statement related to this event
“We have clear standards of conduct and behavior expected of the entire Kings organization – on and off the court. We are working with all parties involved to gather information in order to take any appropriate next steps.”
How long will the NBA remain silent?
- Do not mistake silence for complacency – you can take it to the bank that NBA security is actively investigating this situation as you read this article
- Naturally the NBA wants to give the NYPD room to do its criminal investigation and is hoping that no legal charges will be filed as a result of this incident
- Even if no criminal charges are brought forward that does not mean Barnes and Cousins are out of the woods with “the Association”
- The NBA standards of acceptable behavior may well be above what is acceptable by the laws of the State of New York – this entire event may well have negative results for Barnes, Cousins and the Kings even criminal charges and civil lawsuits are avoided
Post incident video
TMZ has posted video that it says was taken outside the club just after the events transpired. You can view the video at http://www.tmz.com/category/tmzsports