By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com October 24 2003 12:00 AM ET
As reported on thesmokinggun.com, David Gest, the estranged husband of Liza Minnelli, claims in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that the singer regularly beat him during the couple's 16-month marriage. In a New York State supreme court complaint, Gest, 50, describes Minnelli, 57, as an overweight raging alcoholic who seriously injured him during a June attack (the couple separated the following month). According to Gest, whose lawsuit seeks $10 million in damages, he became a "victim of domestic violence" who, as a result of Minnelli's beatings, now lives in "virtually constant, unrelenting pain" that requires "11 prescription medications per day, some more than once."
Gest's complaint chronicles alleged beatings in London, Italy, and New York and claims that Minnelli once threw a lamp at him, punched a security guard, choked a male employee of Gest's, and bit another security official. Gest even recounts a premarriage incident in December 2001 as the couple traveled, via a chauffeured Mercedes, to enroll Minnelli in a Pennsylvania rehab facility. Gest claims that the singer drank an entire bottle of red wine in the car and then began beating him "about his head with open hands and closed fists."
In a statement Minnelli said she had hoped "the end of my marriage would be handled with mutual respect and dignity. The allegations in this lawsuit are hurtful and without merit." She added, "I will continue to focus on my work, my sobriety, and my fans who have been so wonderful to me."