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Euro Tip Tiff Leads to Lawsuit Against Actor

November 04, 2005|Robert W. Welkos | Times Staff Writer

Actor Omar Sharif, the international film star best known for his roles in such epic movies as "Dr. Zhivago" and "Lawrence of Arabia," has been accused of assaulting a valet after becoming enraged that the parking attendant wouldn't accept his European currency.

The lawsuit, filed Oct. 24 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleges that Sharif hurled racial slurs and hit the valet, "delivering a blow to the face" that left him bloodied.

Police said the incident occurred around midnight on June 11. According to the suit, Sharif and an unnamed female companion were leaving Mastro's Steakhouse on North Canon Drive in Beverly Hills when Sharif became upset that his Porsche SUV was not waiting and demanded that the attendant, Juan Anderson, locate the vehicle. "Mr. Sharif was belligerent and intoxicated," the suit alleges.

It later became clear, the suit states, that the woman with Sharif had given the valet ticket to a different valet who had gone to retrieve the actor's car.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday November 06, 2005 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 58 words Type of Material: Correction
Omar Sharif lawsuit -- An article in Friday's California section about a lawsuit filed against actor Omar Sharif, accusing him of assaulting a valet, included a statement that Sharif's attorney made on Court TV claiming the defendant had switched attorneys three times. It should have said that the plaintiff, Juan Anderson, had switched attorneys, according to Sharif's attorney.

At that point, Egyptian-born Sharif, 73, offered Anderson a 20 euro note, but Anderson believed he was not authorized to accept foreign currency.

During the confrontation that ensued, the suit states, Sharif called Anderson a "stupid Mexican." Anderson is from Guatemala.

While the argument was going on, another valet drove up in the Porsche. As Sharif opened the passenger-side door, he allegedly told the parking attendant that he had just spent $500 on dinner and was not receiving help with his car door.

Anderson came over and slowly shut the door and told the actor, "Good night. I'm sorry you talk too much about me."

At that point, according to the suit, Sharif became enraged and stormed out of the vehicle, again using racial slurs. Clenching his fist, he allegedly struck Anderson in the face.

Sharif's attorney, Martin Singer, was unavailable for comment Thursday, but he earlier told Court TV that the case was "ridiculous" and said that the defendant has switched attorneys three times.

Beverly Hills police spokesman Lt. Mitch McCann said the police report, dated June 12, states that Anderson refused medical treatment and there were no visible injuries.

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