Afghan Whigs Offer Shocking Account Of Nightclub Incident

Lawsuit filed by soul-rock band claims singer Greg Dulli was kicked until bleeding in attack that left him with a fractured skull.

The Afghan Whigs’ account of a Dec. 11 incident at an Austin, Texas, nightclub — which
left singer Greg Dulli with a fractured skull — paints a shocking picture of the alleged
attack by a club employee.

A lawsuit filed by the soul-rock band Dec. 17 in Travis County District Court claims Dulli
was “blindsided” by a bouncer known only as “Taiter” after a show at Liberty Lunch. The
suit alleges that after he was knocked to the ground, Dulli was kicked in the head by
Taiter and lay bleeding while other club employees “made no effort to restrain the vicious
attack.”

This description of the incident counters the version previously provided by Liberty
Lunch owner Jeannette Ward. On Dec. 14 she stated that she was not present when the
fight occurred but said that Dulli “came at a stagehand with a two-by-four, and then he
got decked.”

According to court documents, the band is suing Liberty Lunch, Ward, assistant club
manager Mileah Jordan and “Taiter.” The band is seeking unspecified damages for
personal injury, the postponement of Afghan Whigs shows and the resulting impact on
record sales. The Whigs’ current album is 1965, which includes the songs “Crazy” (RealAudio excerpt) and
“Somethin’ Hot” (RealAudio
excerpt).

Terming the incident that led to Dulli’s hospitalization an “unprovoked and cowardly
attack,” the suit alleges that the Whigs were assured that Taiter would be sent home after
a confrontation with the four bandmembers upon their arrival at the club.

The suit further alleges that the violence occurred during a post-concert “meet and
greet,” while Taiter and fellow bouncer “Porkchop” — who had been observed drinking
alcohol and smoking marijuana on the club premises — were present.

The suit claims Taiter struck Dulli with a forceful blow that dropped him to the ground,
and that Taiter twice kicked Dulli as he lay bleeding on the floor of the club.

Additional claims in the suit include allegations that the club refused to call police or an
ambulance to assist Dulli; that the club’s manager aided Taiter and Porkchop in their
departure from the club; and that the club’s staff originally had accused Dulli of attacking
Taiter with a baseball bat, but they changed the supposed weapon to a two-by-four when
no bat could be found.

Geoffrey Pivateau, attorney for the club, declined comment on the suit Wednesday (Dec.
30), saying, “I haven’t heard anything differently than what I heard before. All these
allegations are as new to me as they are to you.”

Last week, Pivateau classified the Whigs’ suit against the club as “a publicity ploy,” a
statement that provoked a firm response from the Afghan Whigs’ attorney, Thomas
Albright.

“When you sustain a life-threatening injury, doesn’t that sound absurd as a publicity
stunt?” Albright retorted Wednesday. “That whole notion is offensive as a concept.”

In a statement posted on the Afghan Whigs’ official website
(http://www.theafghanwhigs.com) Wednesday, the band issued a number of questions
that criticized the club’s explanation of the incident.

Questions broached in the posting included, “If the club were acting properly, why would
the bartender refuse to call 911 and summon medical help and police when Greg had
obviously been seriously injured?” and “If Greg had attacked the employee with a bat
and if management claimed to have taken possession of the bat after the attack, why
couldn’t the club produce the bat for the police?”

The Whigs wrote that Dulli’s health is “slowly improving” and that they hope to make up
most of their postponed shows during a tour scheduled to start in February.

Kevin Buchman, public information officer for the Austin police, said Wednesday that the
investigating officer has turned the case over to the district attorney.

“The case has been forwarded to the district attorney’s office for review and they will
present it to the grand jury to determine if formal charges should be filed,” Buchman said.