The comedian is undecided about pursuing legal action against TMZ
Eddie Griffin may find himself in hot water after allegedly pouring a bottle of water on a woman and throwing the empty bottle at her at a comedy show last week.
Fiona Walshe – a lesbian – has told TMZ that she and her partner, Leslie, were among the audience members at Eddie Griffin’s comedy performance at Tommy T’s Comedy Club in Pleasanton, CA last week. According to Walshe, Eddie Griffin singled the couple out because of their sexual orientation.
Walshe claims Eddie Griffin pointed to her and said, “You’re a LESBIAN. All you need is a good man . . . I’ll volunteer my services. You won’t be needing any strap-on’s or vibrators with me.”
“He started to pump his hips into my face,” Walshe stated. “I felt sexually assaulted and I wanted him to stop – then I threw the drink at him to defend myself.”
“He jumped off the stage and onto my table. He started grabbing everything and throwing it at me,” including a salt and pepper shaker, Walshe said. She continued, “Before I could get away from him he poured a water bottle on my head and threw it at me.”
According to TMZ, Walshe’s lawyer has said, “We’re seeking an apology from Eddie Griffin and compensation for the public humiliation and emotional distress. There will be a lawsuit if he doesn’t make amends.”
Eddie Griffin has fired back with threats of his own lawsuit, not against the women he allegedly humiliated, but instead against TMZ, who he believes wrongfully characterized his behavior in their original reporting of the incident.
Eddie Griffin wrote on his Facebook wall:
“These TMZ bitches said I assaulted a “WOMAN” at my show in cali. I don’t know what kind of eyes these mutha fuckas got but that dyke bitch threw a glass of whatever she was drinkin’ in my face. All over a joke about dyke bitches! Now TMZ be careful with your choice of words, I didn’t ASSAULT a goddamn thing! if I had a nigga would be locked the fucked up. As usual, media doing sensationalism instead of journalism. Ya’ll better retract your story before i sue ya’ll bitch asses for defirmation of character!…or…rather what you really do…character assassination!!! You parasitic mutha Fuckas!!!..TMZ these nuts bitch!!!”
Ann Flagella, the president of Eddie Griffin’s production company, told the Huffington Post that Eddie Griffin is pursuing legal action against TMZ. She released this statement, which her company also sent to TMZ on Monday:
“Eddie never assaulted a woman, nor is he homophobic. Your statements are false. He was telling a joke. He was doing his job and making the audience laugh and going a great job at it. Eddie has never and will never sensor his act.
If you sit front row at a comedy show, it is widely known that chances are, you might have a good chance of becoming part of the act.
When you interrupt a comedian-whether you believe you are right or not, you must be able to handle what they retaliate with! Sometimes it may be offensive.
And as far as heckling is concerned-consider it a professional sporting event. If I don’t like how the team is playing and I think I can do better, do I just jump down on the field and take the ball? NO because I will get arrested. Thrown out of the stadium and fines imposed.
Comedy is or maybe WAS the last bastion of freedom of speech. Who will stand up for the standups?”
As it turns out, it was not TMZ that used the headline Eddie Griffin Assaults Woman At Stand- Up Show. Flagella acknowledged this confusion, but remarked, “He is, however, still upset that TMZ is calling him homophobic when (in his opinion) he said the word ‘dyke’ as slang, not derogatory.”
Eddie Griffin then posted an update to his Facebook page, stating, “To everyone who said I didn’t read the article, this is what was sent to me… I got this and saw ‘TMZ’ and was mad as hell.”
Flagella has not yet indicated whether Eddie Griffin will proceed with the lawsuit.