LOS ANGELES -- A Los Angeles journalist filed a lawsuit against Courtney Love on Thursday, claiming that the rocker/actress kneed her in the groin, pulled her hair and hit her in the face at a fashion show in L.A. on April 21.
Belissa Cohen and her high-profile lawyer, Gloria Allred, are claiming assault, battery,
negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress and are seeking
general and punitive damages. The amount sought for the damages will be
announced at trial, said Allred, who has not yet received a response from
Filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, the lawsuit alleges that Love was posing
for another photographer when Cohen tried to take her picture. Immediately
after taking the shot, Love attacked Cohen, the journalist claims.
"I was extremely frightened by the violence and viciousness of Ms. Love's
physical attack upon me in front of others at a crowded fashion show," Cohen
said in a prepared statement at a press conference Thursday. "The attack
caused me pain and a great deal of humiliation. I make a living as a
journalist, and my reputation for good judgment is crucial to my ability to do
my job. Ms. Love's unwillingness to control herself put my health, safety and
reputation at great risk, which is unacceptable.
"As a journalist I need to know I can cover an event as benign and public as a
fashion show without putting myself in direct physical danger," Cohen
continued. "For her own sake and for the community with which she will have
future contact, I'd like to see Ms. Love get some help."
Allred, who recently represented videographer Henry Trappler in his case
against Motley Crue rocker Tommy Lee, sees Cohen's case as a pivotal example in a growing number of related incidents. "This case is important because journalists have a right to do their job, free from physical attack by celebrities," she said. "Because there seems to be an escalating trend of physical attacks on journalists or photographers, I think this case sends a message that journalists are not going to tolerate such attacks."
Love's publicist, Heidi Schaffer, said this allegation "is just another example of an out-of-control paparazzi who's targeted a celebrity.
"Courtney intends to defend herself vigorously in court and will not fight this in the press," she said.
This alleged incident is not the first time that Love has been accused of assault.
In 1995, Love pleaded guilty to assaulting Kathleen Hanna, former frontwoman of the riot-grrrl group Bikini Kill, during a Lollapalooza concert. She was
reportedly sentenced to anger-management classes.