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DA won’t charge former NBA player Scottie Pippen over spat at Nobu

City News Service | 8/27/2013, 5:29 p.m.
Los Angeles County prosecutors declined to charge former NBA player Scottie Pippen over a dust-up outside a Malibu restaurant in ...
Scottie Pippen

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Los Angeles County prosecutors declined to charge former NBA player Scottie Pippen over a dust-up outside a Malibu restaurant in June, a charge evaluation worksheet showed today.

“Insufficient evidence” was cited as the reason for not pursuing a charge against Pippen, who told sheriff’s investigators a man, Camran Shafighi, followed him out of the restaurant to a valet stand, grabbed at him, cursed him and spit in his face, according to a charge evaluation worksheet dated Monday.

Pippen said he spit back and pushed Shafighi away, accidentally hitting his own brother-in-law. Shafighi and Pippen’s brother-in-law both fell into a valet stand, then to the ground, according to the document.

Pippen said he lifted his foot to block any kicks from Shafighi.

Shafighi approached Pippen and his family earlier in the restaurant and asked to have his photograph taken with the former Chicago Bulls star, the unnamed prosecutor wrote. Pippen agreed to let Shafighi to take a photo but refused to pose with him, the document stated.

While Pippen “admits spitting at and pushing away (Shafighi), the pushing is justifiable and the spitting is unprosecutable if in fact (Shafighi) was the aggressor and initiated the spitting as (Pippen) and his relatives claim,” the prosecutor wrote.

Shafighi sued Pippen last month, alleging assault, battery and both intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress over the June 23 spat at Nobu in the 22000 block of Pacific Coast Highway.

According to Shafighi, he was attacked after he inquired about taking a photo.

“(Shafighi) approached (Pippen) on that Sunday afternoon simply to request a photograph with (Pippen) for the 12-year-old son of his girlfriend,” the lawsuit states. “Instead of a photograph for the boy, Mr. Shafighi received from Pippen .. a verbal assault, a spit in the face, followed immediately by a physical beating consisting of a shove, then a violent punch to the face and head that felled Mr. Shafighi.”

Pippen “repeatedly kicked Mr. Shafighi in the head, chest and body after Mr. Shafighi had been rendered helpless on the ground,” according to the suit.

Shafighi did not fight back because he was knocked unconscious by the 47-year-old Pippen’s first blow, the lawsuit alleges.

“If Mr. Shafighi continues to be unable to return to work ... he stands to lose millions of dollars of future income that would provide for him and his family for the rest of his life,” the suit states.

Shafighi’s injuries are not only detrimental to him, but also to his three children who are dependent upon him for support, according to the suit.

Pippen’s attorney, Mark Geragos, said his client did not do anything wrong.

“We plan on exposing (Shafighi) as the fraud that he is,” Geragos said.

Pippen, a 6-foot-8-inch Hall of Fame forward, played with the Chicago Bulls from 1987 to 1998, helping the team win six NBA titles.