HOUSTON (CN) - NBA center Kendrick Perkins is being shaken down by a brother and sister who lied to police that he punched them in the parking lot of a Houston nightclub, he claims in court.
The 6-foot-10-inch Perkins plays center for the Cleveland Cavaliers after stints with the Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder. He starred at Clifton J. Ozen High School in Beaumont and lives in Tomball, a Houston suburb. He started his NBA career in 2004 with the Celtics.
He sued Miketta Cotton, Ja'Keenan Cotton and Catherine McGrue on April 1 in Harris County Court.
Perkins' attorney told Courthouse News the Cottons and McGrue are trying to shake Perkins down for $1.8 million.
Perkins, 30, was charged with misdemeanor assault after the Cottons told police he punched them and knocked them down in the early morning of Nov. 20, 2013 in the parking lot of Nox, a Houston nightclub, his arrest report states .
The Cottons told police the fight was set off by a minor car wreck and that Perkins' wife Vanity Alpough and his brother-in-law Quincy Alpough were involved. Quincy Alpough was also charged with misdemeanor assault.
McGrue claimed that Quincy Alpough knocked her out with an elbow to the throat, according to the arrest report.
"The complainants stated that a swarm of people along with the defendants repeatedly stomped and kicked all three complainants while on the ground," the report states.
Perkins says in his lawsuit that they made the whole thing up.
Prosecutors dismissed Perkins' charges in April 2014 and his record was expunged. They dismissed Alpough's case in October 2013.
Perkins says in his lawsuit: "The defendants, acting separately and in concert, falsely and repeatedly contended that Perkins physically assaulted them. The defendants conspired among themselves to provide this false information to the Houston Police Department."
Perkins' attorney Matt Hennessy said his client's charges were dismissed "because the state became convinced it just didn't happen."
He said prosecutors interviewed several witnesses and dropped the case based on the witnesses' accounts.
"Those three people probably were involved in a fight in the parking lot, but Kendrick Perkins wasn't there," Hennessy said in an interview. "Kendrick and his wife had already left when the fight started."
But the Cottons and McGrue "continue to maintain their false allegations," threatened to sue Perkins, and demanded $1.8 million through his manager, according to the lawsuit and to Hennessy.
Perkins seeks punitive damages for malicious prosecution and conspiracy.
Hennessy said the Cottons are represented by Houston attorney Rod Manor, who did not respond to a request for comment.
Perkins and the LeBron James-led Cavaliers are headed for the NBA playoffs. The Cavs have earned a top Eastern Conference seed in the tournament that starts April 18.
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