Ex-Sex Pistol Lydon sued for ‘assault and battery’
Published 06/06/2008 | 10:58
He shot to fame as frontman of the Sex Pistols, whose debut hit " Anarchy In The UK" made them one of the most influential bands in rock history. But Johnny Rotten's latest brush with notoriety revolves around an alleged case of anarchy in a luxury hotel.
The singer, whose real name is John Lydon, is being sued on multiple counts of assault and battery after he reportedly punched a female assistant in the face during a frenzied argument over accommodation at a five-star Los Angeles hotel.
Roxane Davis, who worked on a reality television show which employed Mr Lydon as a judge, is seeking unspecified damages over claims that he subjected her to a tirade of abuse, then attacked her, because he did not like the room he was given at the Ritz Carlton in Marina del Rey.
In a 33-page civil lawsuit filed at a Los Angeles court this week, Ms Davis alleges numerous counts of sexual harassment, assault and battery in a late-night row during filming of the programme Bodog Battle Of The Bands in January last year.
Although he has always had a reputation for provocative behaviour, the latest lawsuit highlights another alleged area of volatility: his haircut. " The company failed to inform and/or warn any of its employees who might come into contact with Rotten during Bodog Battle of the Bands about [his] propensity toward violence and/or that he was a dangerous person," it read. "The only warning given to employees was that under no circumstances was anyone to touch Rotten's hair."
According to the complaint, Ms Davis worked as a talent producer on the show, which aired on the Fuse Television Network. She was put in charge of handling its celebrity host and judges, who included Chris Slade from AC/DC and Billy Duffy of The Cult, as well as Mr Lydon.
Mr Lydon, 52, and his assistant, who went by the name of Rambo, "created a hostile work environment for Ms Davis based on her sex by screaming sexual comments at her and physically attacking her", the lawsuit claims.
The alleged assault took place on or about 23 January, when Mr Lydon and Rambo flew to LA for filming. Having rejected accommodation at the Radisson because it was "sub-standard", the pair moved to the Ritz Carlton.
A row allegedly flared after Ms Davis heard Mr Lydon "screaming at a hotel employee... because there was no door connecting his room to Rambo's room from the inside". "Rotten screamed at Ms Davis about his dissatisfaction with the hotel rooms," the legal papers state. " Since the rooms did not have connecting doors, Rotten would be forced to open his hotel door, step outside of the room, and walk a couple of feet in order to be able to enter Rambo's hotel room next door to him. Ms Davis apologised. Rotten then began screaming sexual epithets and obscene insults at Ms Davis... Rotten then cocked his fist back to strike Ms Davis and punched her in the face." He is said to have repeatedly called her a "c**t".
Following a brief tussle, the pair separated. However, the lawsuit alleges that Ms Davis was later sacked by the programme-makers after complaining about the incident to a supervisor.
A spokesman for Mr Lydon said he was unavailable for comment. The programme-maker, Bodog Entertainment, is contesting all claims against it, including those for unfair dismissal.
Ms Davis's lawyer Keith Fink said papers would be served this week. He will be pushing for the case to be heard by a jury, should it come to trial without being settled. He added: "We have filed this suit because we want to send a message that you should not put profit over people. The programme-makers did not care about Johnny Rotten's violent past. They just wanted a loose cannon to be on their judging panel to push up ratings, so they hired him when they knew he had violent and bizarre tendencies. But no woman should be subjected to people like him in a work environment."