PHOENIX — Charles Barkley of the Phoenix Suns was unapologetic Wednesday after dumping a beer on a woman in a dispute over an autograph.
Debbie Hartel claimed Barkley was rude when she asked for more than one signature Sunday night at a restaurant in suburban Scottsdale.
Barkley on Wednesday acknowledged the incident, which stemmed from his one-autograph-per-fan policy, but declined to comment in detail.
"If she'd been really upset, don't you think she would have sued me?" Barkley said.
Hartel, who works at a nursing home, got Barkley to sign a napkin. Then, she said, she asked Barkley for signatures for her patients. But Tom Rosenbaum, owner of the Dutch Johns restaurant, said he never heard Hartel say anything about the autographs being for nursing-home patients.
"Barkley had been so nice all night," Rosenbaum said, "and, in fact, he was nice after it was all over when woman and her boyfriend left. To tell you the truth, I probably would have thrown the beer on her too, or worse, because she was really out of line."