(CN) – Janet Jackson won dismissal of a $110 million lawsuit brought by a man who claims he was injured when the singer’s bodyguards roughed him up and tossed him out of a Manhattan nightclub in 2005. New York Supreme Court Justice Jane Solomon said there was “no evidence” of the alleged attack.
Leonard Salati said he saw Jackson and her fiancé, rapper Jermaine Dupri, at Club Marquee on Feb. 4, 2005. He claimed he knew Jackson, because his cousin had performed in a TV show with her several years ago. Salati approached the VIP room and allegedly got Jackson to call off her bodyguards long enough to greet the star and introduce her to a another woman he’d met.
Later, on his way out the club, Salati said he leaned in to say goodnight to Jackson, kiss her and slip her a piece of paper with his phone number on it. He claimed six bodyguards, all dressed in black, immediately grabbed him in a chokehold, hauled him downstairs and booted him from the club. He was allegedly injured by the rough treatment.
He demanded $10 million in damages and $100 in punitive damages from Jackson, Club Marquee, bodyguard Joey Maldonado, and the security companies hired by Jackson and the club. He specifically accused Jackson of telling her bodyguard, Maldonado, to attack him.
“There is no evidence that Maldonado assaulted Salati, or that anyone assaulted Salati at Jackson’s direction,” Justice Solomon ruled.
Salati had described the man who grabbed him as heavy, well-built black man, and guessed by his proximity to Jackson that it must have been her bodyguard.
Maldonado described himself as a 5-foot-8, 180-pound white man.
Solomon said the record “establishes that Maldonado does not match plaintiff’s description.” She also dismissed a contribution claim against Jackson and negligent hiring claims against Maldonado’s employer, Black Doll, and Club Marquee.
However, she allowed the club’s cross-claim against its security provider, Knight Time Security of New York.