NEW YORK – A petite woman from Queens, New York is suing P. Diddy (search) for $5 million, claiming a burly bouncer at his Manhattan restaurant tackled her to the pavement and dragged her down the street.
Stephanie Grieson, 35, said that on Aug. 22, 2002, she was outside Justin's restaurant (search) on West 21st Street, arguing with a friend over how they were going to get home.
The fight became heated and started to turn physical, with Grieson's friend grabbing a lock of her hair and pulling at it.
Grieson, who is 5-foot-2, 115 pounds, said she felt a sudden crushing weight on her back. That turned out to be the 6-foot-2, 250-pound bouncer who was guarding the door.
"He ran over and pounced on my back," Grieson said. "Both my knees crashed to the ground."
She said the bouncer grabbed her by her neck and the back of her shirt and dragged her down the sidewalk away from Justin's, saying, "No fighting in front of this restaurant."
"He just dropped me and walked away with no regard," Grieson said. "Are you crazy? Just to move us away from the restaurant?"
Grieson suffered gaping wounds on both her knees, "down to the white meat," she said. Her knees were swollen for days and she still bears scars there and on her legs and ankles.
Although the incident occurred in Manhattan, the suit was filed in Queens Supreme Court because that is where Grieson lives, said her lawyer, Adam Shapiro.
The $5 million they are seeking covers lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering and future plastic surgery Grieson would need to erase the large scar on her left knee, Shapiro said.
This is at least the fourth suit filed this summer against P. Diddy, whose real name is Sean Combs (search) and who used to go by "Puff Daddy," bringing his total potential losses to $80 million.
Combs' lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said Grieson's suit is as much without merit as the others.
"This lady is in for a rude awakening because unlike other superstars, Puffy fights these baseless lawsuits," Brafman said.
Grieson said she was disappointed the bouncer was never arrested. She said she called 911 right after the incident and filed a police report, but a detective told her they weren't going to press charges.
Shapiro said the "senseless" attack was aimed solely at protecting the image of the restaurant and rapper.
"I believe that, but for the fact that this was Puffy's restaurant, this bouncer would have handled the matter totally differently," he said.