Scottie Pippen will not be charged with assault after a drunken fan claimed the Chicago Bulls legend spit on him and punched him at a Malibu restaurant earlier this summer, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.
Pippen, 47, was out to eat with his family June 24 at Nobu
, Malibu's favorite celebrity hangout, where he claims Camran Shafighi, 49, approached him for a photo and an autograph. The retired basketball star allowed the fan to take a photo but wouldn’t pose with him, so Shafighi followed him out into the parking lot and asked again.
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At that point, Shafighi told police Pippen punched him in the mouth, spat in his face, and kicked him several times before he blacked out. He awoke later at UCLA Medical Center. Doctors initially thought he had a concussion, but a CT scan showed no evidence of head trauma. A blood test did, however, reveal a 0.18 blood-alcohol level, more than twice California's legal limit, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Records show that Shafighi returned to the emergency room the next day and told nurses that doctors had diagnosed him with fractured ribs and a fractured ankle, but further tests showed no evidence of either.
Pippen's version of events is a little different. He told investigators that Shafighi followed him out into Nobu's parking lot, spitting and cursing at him. Pippen admitted to spitting back and said he pushed the man away.
Shafighi then reportedly kicked the basketball player in the crotch, and Pippen lifted up his foot to block the kick, according to a police report.
Based on witness accounts of the fight, officials could not confirm that Pippen was the aggressor. Prosecutor William Ryder found that Pippen's pushing was "justifiable and the spitting is unprosecutable."
Shafighi has filed a $4 million suit against Pippen for the alleged "brutal and unjustified physical attack."
Pippen is reportedly planning a counter suit.
"This shakedown artist was drunk, screaming racial slurs, and assaulted my client and his family," Mark Geragos, Pippen's lawyer, said in a statement. "Scottie and his family are grateful to the sheriff for their investigation and DA for their decision to reject these unfounded charges. Scottie and his family plan on holding this man accountable for his outrageous actions."
An Arkansas native, Pippen is one of the most decorated NBA veterans, winning six league titles with Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in 11 seasons. His NBA career lasted 17 seasons and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010.
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