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A fashion designer says he was the victim of an antigay attack -- at the hands of a father whose daughter was cut from his runway.
Pol' Atteu, along with his husband Patrik Simpson, threw a charity fashion show last Friday at St. John's Cathedral in Los Angeles benefiting the Make-a-Wish Foundation. The event was being filmed for the couple's Amazon Prime Video reality show, Gown and Out in Beverly Hills.
According to Atteu, around 6 p.m., in the middle of the show, a man went backstage and began punching the designer with both fists on his face, stomach, and arms and yelling the slur "faggot." Footage from security footage shows a man (below), who was not named in the release sent to The Advocate, fleeing the scene.
Atteu told KCBS-TV, a local CBS affiliate, that the alleged attack resulted in a concussion, bruises, and the reinjuring of a broken shoulder, and required two days of hospitalization at the L.A. hospital Cedars-Sinai. "I mean, how do you hate somebody you don't even know this much?" Atteu said.
In a statement sent to The Advocate, the designer said he believed the man was angered because his 9-year-old child was not chosen to walk in the runway show, which featured child actors. The line being showcased, Ava, was designed in collaboration with Disney star Ava Kolker (Sydney to the Max, Girl Meets World).
"This man, the father of a child we did not select for the fashion show went crazy and jumped me from behind," said Atteu. "He punched me in the face, head and stomach with both his fists and kicked me repeatedly. I was holding [my dog] Snow White and protecting her from him. I thought he was going to kill me. I was terrified and screamed over and over again for him to stop and he just kept beating me until I fell to the floor."
According to the release, the man's daughter had auditioned for the fashion show, but was not asked to come to the event after she and her father, who is also her manager, lingered after the casting call and acted "creepy." The girl was present while her father committed the alleged attack, along with "terrified" models.
Simpson witnessed the scene. "I tried to help him but, a giant church pew was blocking my pathway," he recounted. "As I ran to his rescue I watched in horror as he was [punched] in the face and head over and over again. This man needs to be arrested and justice needs to be served!"
Atteu told KCBS-TV he knows the identity of his attacker. But as of the time of this article's publication, no arrest has been made. Atteu still plans to attend the Emmys on Sunday, where several of his designs are being showcased.
This is not the first time Atteu has made headlines for being the target of homophobia. His sister, Peggy Sulahian, was fired from Bravo's Real Housewives of Orange County -- reportedly after telling Atteu he was not welcome at their father's funeral due to his sexual orientation.
Correction: A previous version of this article attributed Simpson's quote to Lexy Kolker.