Charles Oakley Files Lawsuit Against James Dolan For Role In MSG Ejection

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Charles Oakley is taking Knicks owner James Dolan to court following February’s ugly incident in which the former Knicks star was forcibly removed by security from Madison Square Garden.

Oakley filed a lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan on Tuesday alleging he was a victim of assault, battery, false imprisonment and slander. The suit names Dolan, MSG Networks, The Madison Square Garden Company and MSG Sports & Entertainment as defendants.

MORE: Read The Complaint

The Madison Square Garden Company owns the Knicks. Dolan is the company’s executive chairman.

The lawsuit requests a trial by jury, which would determine the financial damages Oakley would be awarded if the defendants are found liable.

A Knicks spokesman did not immediately comment to The Associated Press.

The Feb. 8 incident between Oakley and Garden security was captured on camera and posted on social media. In it, Oakley appears to shove security guards before they pull him away from his seat.

Oakley was arrested, but last month he accepted a deal with prosecutors that would dismiss the misdemeanor assault and trespass charges against him if he stays out of trouble for the next six months and keeps away from the Garden for a year.

Oakley’s attorney, Alex Spirro, said at the time of the plea deal that Oakley “will be pursuing all civil remedies against Dolan based on this incident.”

MORE: Keidel: Tough To Believe James Dolan In Charles Oakley Saga

The lawsuit attempts to paint the picture of Dolan harboring a strong hatred of Oakley for years, feelings that came to a head Feb. 8.

“Within minutes of unobtrusively taking his seat, Defendant Dolan directed that security forcibly remove Mr. Oakley from the Garden and publicly embarrass him on live television,” the lawsuit says. “Adding insult to injury, Defendants proceeded to ban Mr. Oakley from the Garden indefinitely.”

Oakley also accused Dolan and MSG of maliciously making false statements that the popular ex-Knick was engaged in abusive behavior toward fans and staff during the game and that he might have a problem with alcoholism.

“By propagating these blatant lies about Mr. Oakley, Defendants Dolan and MSG have caused irreparable harm to his name and career and discriminated against him based on the false perception that he is an alcoholic, all in a transparent attempt to denigrate his standing among Knicks fans,” the lawsuit says.

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