Liza Minnelli’s estranged husband David Gest sued the entertainer yesterday (Oct. 21) for $10 million in damages for spousal abuse, saying she attacked him in drunken rages, leaving him with an “unrelenting pain in his head.” An 11-page civil suit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court by Gest, who married Minnelli in March 2002, says she threw a lamp at him and when he tried to calm her down and she beat him in the face with her fists.
Gest, who separated from Minnelli three months ago, alleged that her heavy drinking gave the singer-actress “remarkable force and strength.” Minnelli’s lawyer did not return calls for comment.
The most recent incident took place at the Connaught Hotel in London in June, according to the suit, which said that at the time of their marriage Minnelli’s career had “eclipsed, she was an alcoholic, overweight, [and] unable to be effectively merchandised.”
Gest said he sustained severe injuries about the head and “virtually constant unrelenting pain in his head” in the attack and that he suffers from “throbbing pain, severe headaches, vertigo, nausea, hypertension, scalp tenderness and insomnia.” The suit states that he takes 11 medications a day to treat his pain and injury.
Gest alleged that another drunken brawl took place at the Hotel Plaza Athenee in New York after the couple returned from their European honeymoon. He said he caught his wife drinking a bottle of vodka and that caused her to “fly into a rage. She started beating me with her hands about the head until I ran into the other room,” Gest said.
Gest said he was so concerned he called the Caron Foundation, a not-for-profit organization in Pennsylvania that provides residential and out-patient treatment for those affected by alcoholism and drug addiction. On learning she was about to be admitted for treatment, Gest said Minnelli again flew into a “violent rage, beating plaintiff with her hands while shouting insults at him.”
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