'Bruno' victim's lawyer lashes back at UniversalMon Jul 20, 2009 @ 01:34AM PST
By Matthew Belloni
As you'll recall, Richelle Olson got a bit of attention for claiming that Baron Cohen and his "Bruno" posse accosted her at a charity bingo game, causing her to hit her head and become confined to a wheelchair due to a "brain bleed." Universal's lawyers responded the complaint with a terse letter denying the whole story, offering proof via videotaped footage of the alleged incident and threatening to go after Olson and her lawyers if the case wasn't withdrawn immediately. After watching the footage, Olson's lead lawyer Kyle Madison amended the complaint a week ago to drop assault and battery claims.
But now Madison has sent a letter to Universal and Baron Cohen's lawyer Russell Smith (read the letter here) refusing to drop the case outright and laying out his arguments for why he'll win.
A quick highlight: the assault and battery claims were immaterial, Madison says, because from the outset Olson has claimed that her injuries occurred not due to a physical altercation with Baron Cohen or his cohorts but from the intentional and/or negligent infliction of emotional distress that caused her to adjourn to a separate room and, overwhelmed by the run-in with Bruno, fall and hit her head.
"Mrs. Olson was injured as a direct result of being placed in great emotional distress by Mr. Cohen's outrageous conduct, which led to her unconsciousness minutes after the altercation began," the letter says.