Attorney: Patti LaBelle Had Bodyguard Beat Cadet

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An ex-West Point cadet's attorney has told jurors that veteran R&B singer Patti LaBelle ordered her bodyguard to beat up the cadet, who was waiting outside a Houston airport terminal for a ride home.

The attorney said Tuesday during opening statements in a civil trial in Houston federal court that the attack resulted in a brain injury that forced cadet Richard King to withdraw from the U.S. Military Academy.

In his lawsuit, King alleges that he was attacked without provocation by LaBelle's bodyguard and two others while waiting outside a Bush Intercontinental Airport terminal in 2011.

But Geoffrey Bracken, one of LaBelle's attorneys, told jurors that King threw the first punch.

LaBelle's attorneys have said King also hurled racial insults at the singer.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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