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Scottie Pippen sued for $4 million after Malibu assault on autograph-seeker

Posted By CAROLINE LEE, UPI.com   |   July 12, 2013 at 11:30 AM   |   Comments

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July 12 (UPI) -- Scottie Pippen still needs a referee.

The retired NBA star was sued Thursday for $4 million for alleged assault and battery.

The plaintiff in the lawsuit, Camran Shafighi, says he was spat on, punched and kicked by Pippen after he asked him for an autograph and picture for his girlfriend's 12-year-old son.

The incident occurred outside of popular Malibu restaurant Nobu.

"Instead of a photograph for the boy, [Shafighi] received from Pippin... a verbal assault, a spit in the face, followed immediately by a physical beating consisting of a shove, then a violent punch to the face and head that felled Mr. Shafighi to the ground," the lawsuit says.

Lee Boyd, Shafighi's attorney, said the suit was filed in an effort to compensate Shafighi for both his injuries and economic losses he will face because he is unable to run his business.

"This has been pretty devastating to him," Boyd said in an interview Thursday. "This was not the result of some drunken barroom brawl. This is a guy who wanted to take a picture with a cellphone."

The lawsuit also says that Pippen kicked Shafighi even after he fell to the ground. Shafighi could not fight back, he said, because he was knocked unconscious after one of the first hits.

Investigators said Shafighi was taking pictures of Pippen inside the restaurant and again in the parking lot before the altercation. Witnesses on the scene described Shafighi as intoxicated, which led to an argument and violence.

Shafighi was taken to a hospital with a head injury, treated and released. The lawsuit alleges that Shafighi, a luxury-car business owner, has since suffered from nausea, headaches and difficulty breathing.

Pippen reported to police for questioning following the June 23 incident.

Earlier in the investigation, Pippen was sought by deputies for a possible arrest. But Pippen, who is represented by attorney Mark Geragos, spoke to investigators voluntarily and was allowed to leave without being arrested. Sheriff's officials said Pippen was cooperative during the interview.

Pippen, a Hall-of-Famer, won six NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls. He serves as special adviser to Bulls CEO and president Michael Reinsdorf.

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