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Two civil suits accuse Taylor of assault

LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Two women have filed civil lawsuits against boxer Jermain Taylor, alleging that the world middleweight champion assaulted them during a comedian's performance in Little Rock.
The lawsuits, filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court by Little Rock law firm Dodds, Kidd & Ryan, accuse Taylor of "causing emotional distress and mental suffering" to two women during a Sept. 3 performance by comedian Katt Williams at Robinson Auditorium in Little Rock.

The plaintiffs, Jeanine Morse and Yvette McCarty, each ask for a judgment of at least $75,000, as well as punitive damages and attorney's fees.

The complaint accuses Taylor of grabbing Morse's breasts during the performance and forcefully kissing McCarty, who was an usher during the performance.

In a statement, Taylor denied the claims.

"I have been falsely accused of improper behavior," Taylor said. "It's a shame that people will go this far for financial gain and try to damage my name. I have always conducted myself with others in the most respectful way."

But Stephanie Chamberlin, who represents both plaintiffs, said neither woman knew who Taylor was the night of the performance.

"My feeling is every woman has a right to not have her body assaulted, no matter who it is," Chamberlin said. "Neither one of these women knew of (Taylor's) celebrity status. This isn't about money. We are in the position where we feel like if he is going to be represented like a hometown hero, he needs to act like one."

Chamberlin said she tried to negotiate a settlement, but that Taylor and his attorney declined.

Ozell Nelson, Taylor's coach, said Taylor's wife, Erica, was with the boxer at the concert and that nothing improper happened.

"This is crazy," Ozell Nelson said. "Jermain's wife was with him. I can't believe they (the defendants) would try this."

But Chamberlin said the case wasn't about money.

"My clients would have sued anyone that walked up to them and did the same things he did," she said.
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