Lawsuit: NBA players teamed up for Chelsea nightclub assault
NEW YORK (AP) A lawyer for a couple who claim Sacramento Kings players Matt Barnes and DeMarcus Cousins assaulted them at a nightclub said Thursday they'll rely on videotapes, medical reports and the testimony of witnesses to prove they were attacked.
The lawyer, Michael S. Lamonsoff, spoke at a news conference as the couple, Jasmine Besiso and Myrone Powell, held hands nearby a day after their federal lawsuit alleged Barnes choked and knocked Besiso unconscious before both players attacked Powell with punches and kicks inside a Manhattan nightclub on Monday.
Lamonsoff said Barnes attacked Besiso, a hairstylist, after trying to choke another woman earlier in the night. He said he hopes the other woman comes forward to authorities. He said Besiso and Powell didn't know the players before the altercation.
He said the players were ''using their celebrity status and vast resources to distort the truth.''
In an Instagram post Monday, Barnes said: ''There's always two sides to a story .. The side the media consistently tries to paint of me .... And what actually happened! Don't believe everything you read.''
Attorney Alex Spiro, representing both players, said, ''We don't believe a crime was committed, and we're continuing to cooperate with the authorities.''
Spiro declined to comment on the lawsuit or on whether his clients had spoken to police or prosecutors. Police said earlier in the week they were looking to speak with Barnes, who had left the nightclub with Cousins before police arrived.
Lamonsoff did not specify how much money he seeks from the civil lawsuit.
The lawsuit said that Barnes choked Besiso and that Powell, her boyfriend, intervened. It said Cousins then punched Powell as Barnes knocked Besiso unconscious with his elbow.
Barnes and Cousins and others who were with them at the nightclub then punched and kicked Powell, the lawsuit said. The couple were treated at a hospital. No one was arrested.
Besiso said she was ''outraged and disgusted by what's happened to me.'' She added: ''I want the truth to come out.''
Powell, one eye swollen and bruised, said he was ''appalled'' that video of the players leaving the club showed them ''boasting and gloating'' about the encounter.
Besiso and Powell, a video director and photographer, live in New York.
Lamonsoff said he believed there are video recordings from inside the club, though he had not seen them. He said videotapes, witness testimony and medical records that showed serious injuries to his clients would support the lawsuit.
He said the lawsuit was filed ''to hold Barnes and Cousins accountable for their deplorable and cowardly actions.''
A year ago, Barnes was suspended for two games after he drove to the home of his now ex-wife to confront her new boyfriend, then-New York Knicks coach Derek Fisher. Fisher late wrote in an article that there was no fight but that Barnes had thrown punches.