Two Baghdad EMTs Sue CNN, Reporter Over Alleged Attack

Monday, 04 Aug 2014 10:17 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Two emergency medical technicians are claiming in a $1 million lawsuit that they were bitten by a drunken and enraged CNN foreign correspondent outside the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

In papers filed against CNN and Beiruit-based senior international correspondent Arwa Damon, the EMTs allege the attack happened July 19.

According to the lawsuit, first reported by the website TMZ, Damon was "intoxicated" and "has a history of becoming intoxicated and then abusive."

"In fact, defendant Damon has a history of and penchant for violence even when sober," the suit alleges.

The lawsuit says Damon became "unruly and violent" and bit both Tracy Lamar and Charles Simons on their arms while they were trying to provide assistance.

The suit says that while doing so, Damon tried to play the fame game, telling the pair she was a "major reporter for CNN."

CNN received a report on the incident from the State Department, but Damon continued working for the network, the New York Post reported.

The Post reported that Damon later apologized to U.S. Embassy staff about her "disastrous behavior," which she says she doesn't fully remember.

"It's been an extremely stressful time, I was exhausted, I had not had proper food all day and clearly miscalculated how my body would handle the alcohol consumed," she said in an email, the Post reported.

"Needless to say, I am utterly mortified and take full responsibility for my actions, which are inexcusable. I am being filled in on the details of my behavior. I am beyond embarrassed. My actions and words were entirely out of my character, and I hope that everyone can at some point forgive me."

The EMTs' attorney, David Jaroslawicz, was not swayed.

"To get so very drunk and attack people who are trying to help you is somewhat disturbing, particularly as a reporter," he told the Post.

A CNN spokesman told Politico that cable network officials were "not aware" of the lawsuit "and therefore have no comment."

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