Janet to litigious fan: Beat It!
LOS ANGELES: Well, it was only a matter of time before the Jackson family was on the receiving end of some good news.
As luck would have it, that time is now, as a years-old $120 million lawsuit filed against Janet Jackson by a man who claims the mourning pop star's bodyguard roughed him up in a nightclub has finally been dismissed.
On June 25, New York State Supreme Court Justice Jane Solomon tossed the portion of Leonard Salati's case that included the singer and her bodyguard, citing a lack of evidence.
Salati had claimed that during a February 2004 incident at Marquee, one of Jackson's bodyguards put him in a choke hold when the opportunity-grabbing fan approached the singer and attempted to both slip her his number (as if) and kiss her on the cheek (see previous parenthetical).
"There is no evidence that [Jackson's bodyguard] assaulted Salati, or that anyone assaulted Salati at Jackson's direction," Solomon said in her ruling against the cocksure fan last month.
Apparently, this is one instance where it does matter if you're black or white...or, in this case, Latino.
Jackson's sole bodyguard on duty that evening was Joey Moldanado, who insisted that he neither witnessed nor involved himself in any sort of scuffle. He's Latino, but Salati described his assailants as African-American. Oops.
In other words, like Janet herself, her bodyguard was well in control.
As a result of the ruling, neither Jackson, her security detail or the club remain on the hook. But not everyone is so lucky.
"As of right now, pending an appeal, Janet Jackson and the nightclub Marquee will not be part of the case," Salati's lawyer, Jamie Levy, told E! News. "The security club that was contracted to provide security for the nightclub still is."
That includes Knight Time Security and Titan Security, which were both contracted by Marquee to provide protection.
Attorneys for both are scheduled to attend a pretrial hearing on Aug. 3.