Former Chicago Bulls star Scottie Pippen is being sued over a fight last month at an upscale Southern California restaurant that left an autograph-seeker hospitalized with a head injury.
The $4 million lawsuit filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court says 49-year-old plaintiff Camran Shafighi simply asked Pippen for a photograph for his girlfriend's 12-year-old son.
Instead, the suit says, Shafighi got a "brutal and unjustified physical attack" that included spit in the face, a shove, and a punch that sent Shafighi to the ground.
"At no time did or could Mr. Shafighi physically provoke or fight back, as he was knocked unconscious with the first blow," the lawsuit says.
Sheriff's officials, who were still investigating the incident, said Pippen voluntarily came into a station to be questioned and was cooperative. He was not arrested and no charges have been filed.
Investigators at the time said that Pippen had been dining June 23 with his family at Nobu, a restaurant on the beach in Malibu frequented by celebrities.
Shafighi was taking pictures of Pippen inside the restaurant then outside in the parking lot, investigators said.
Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said several witnesses described Shafighi as intoxicated.
An argument ensued that led to violence, investigators said. Shafighi was taken to a hospital with a head injury, treated and released.
A phone message left after business hours for Pippen's attorney Mark Geragos was not immediately returned.
The 47-year-old Pippen won six NBA titles with Michael Jordan and the Bulls, and in 1996, was named one of the NBA's 50 greatest players. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.
Pippen now serves as special adviser to the Bulls' president and chief operating officer.