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Patti LaBelle and Son Testify on Behalf of Bodyguard in Assault Trial

patti labelleGrammy-Award winning performer Patti LaBelle and her son Zuri Edwards testified this week on behalf of her bodyguard who’s accused of assaulting a West Point cadet.

LaBelle told the Houston court that her bodyguard, Efrem Holmes, was defending her after Richard King spewed racial slurs and punched her son in the face outside of Bush Intercontinental Airport in 2011.

According to reports, the 23-year old West Point cadet had a blood-alcohol level of .28 percent, almost 3 times Texas’ legal limit. In addition, King has testified that he doesn’t remember what happened the day of the airport incident.

The Houston Chronicle reported: “LaBelle testified that she and her son, who works as her manager, had just arrived in Houston with Holmes. She said Edwards was loading luggage into an SUV for a trip to a performance at a Louisiana casino when King staggered up to the limousine in which she sat.”

According to KTRK-TV of Houston, “Edwards testified that King was ‘intoxicated, loud, obnoxious’ and was hurling racial epithets at his mother. Then, he said, ‘I am instantly struck on my face, on the right side of my face.'”

Holmes responded by punching King in the face several times, landing him in the hospital with a head wound.

LaBelle’s bodyguard is charged with misdemeanor assault and faces a civil lawsuit. The “If Only You Knew” singer was also hit with a civil suit, but has since countersued.

“Nobody was trying to hit that kid,” said LaBelle. “He started everything.”

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