Woman who threw her drink at Eddie Griffin wants money if he doesn’t apologize

By | July 24, 2012 at 11:47 am | 23 comments | feature slider, News | Tags: , ,

You probably remember that last week we reported about an incident wherein a woman in the front row at Tommy T’s comedy club in Pleasonton, CA threw her drink at comedian Eddie Griffin, after she had enough of what she described as him “taunting” her. Griffin responded by dumping a bottle of water on the woman.

Well, a little more than a week later, the woman, Fiona Walshe wants an apology from the comedian. And if she doesn’t get it, she wants a bunch of money from him and the venue, because Griffin made an issue out of her and partner Leslie Champlin (pictured) for being lesbians. Her lawyer released this statement:

At the start of the show, Griffin told the large crowd that he was drunk and had been so for a week. He also drank a bottle of champagne and a shot of hard liquor while on stage. After the show started, Griffin began singling out Walshe. Griffin initially taunted her for looking like a “librarian” and looking “rigid.” However, when Griffin saw that Walshe was with her partner, and wasn’t laughing, Griffin called her out as a “Lesbian” to the crowd. He publically humiliated Walshe and Champlin saying, “Oh, l see what’s going on here. You’re a LESBIAN. All you need is a GOOD-MAN!! I’ll volunteer my services to get in between the two of you to show you a good time you won’t be needing any strap-on’s or vibrators with me.” As Griffin spoke he looked Walshe in the eye and began pumping his hips at her face in a violent sexual manner. Threatened, Walshe threw a drink at Griffin.

After the initial altercation with Griffin, Walshe and Champlin immediately attempted to flee the club as Griffin jumped off stage and onto their table. As he approached them, he hurled patrons’ drinks, water and a bottle at Walshe. As the couple stood to leave, angry crowd members followed Griffin’s actions and also pelted them with drinks. Club security offered the couple no protection as they fled outside and ran to their vehicle.

So, why exactly does Walshe want money if Griffin doesn’t apologize? Her lawyer explains:

Walshe is seeking medical counseling for her injuries. Since the ordeal she has suffered from extreme feelings of anxiety and lack of sleep. Walshe and Champlin have retained the Law Offices of Ruben P. Ruiz. The couple seeks an apology and compensation from Griffin’s and Tommy T’s Comedy Club. A lawsuit has not been filed to date because the couple want to first allow Griffin and Tommy T’s Comedy Club the opportunity to make amends without litigation.

So far, Griffin is standing behind his actions. A spokeswoman for Griffin, Ann Flagella released a statement of her own:

Eddie was doing his job and making the audience laugh and doing a great job at it. Eddie has never and will never sensor his act. ALL races, religions, genders and stereotypes are considered equal on stage and are all open for material. If you sit front row at a comedy show, it is widely known that chances are, you might become part of the act.

This incident is incredibly similar to the case of Canadian comic Guy Earle, who was successfully fined $15,000 for “sexist and homophobic” insults he hurled toward a lesbian couple who were constantly distracting and heckling during a show in May of 2007. The ruling was handed down by the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, a relatively new watchdog group who, according to many critics, had been operating under questionable authority.

About the Author

Dylan P. Gadino

Dylan is the founder and editor in chief of Laughspin. He launched Punchline Magazine in 2005 (which became Laughspin in the summer of 2011) with childhood friend Bill Bergmann. Dylan lives in northern New Jersey with his wife and two sons. He hopes the Shire is real.

  • christopatten

    Wow, this account seems pretty different then then the last we heard of this incident.

  • Facebook User

    This is starting to sound more like the Michael Richards incident. It’s one thing for no subject to be taboo but once it’s focused on a specific audience member the comedian needs to respect their paying audience. Not so say that insult crowd work is bad, look at Don Rickles or Jimmy Pardo, but if this description is accurate than Griffin really crossed a line, drunk or not. 

    • http://twitter.com/daveinguelph Dave In Guelph

      Both you and those dykes need to grow a set of balls.

      • hater

        yeah, anything goes in a comedy club. even when a comedian is no longer telling jokes but entering the realm of misogyny, bigotry, and sexual harassment. i hope someone stomps on your beloved balls you idiotic shit. try putting yourself in the shoes of someone who is faced with discrimination every day.

      • Dave is an asshole

        OH wow nice one! You must be a dumb misogynistic asshole too!! Is this a pic of you and your North American, male white privilege blessed face? I’d sure like “meat it” (ha ha a joke, get it?) http://i.imgur.com/MaLb4.jpg

        • Agreed, Dave is an asshole

          That face is smug, like a baby’s bottom, lol

  • Dave is right, you are fags.

    Thin skinned dykes shouldn’t go to comedy clubs.  Lifetime needs the viewers at home.

    • Lucia R.

      They’re not dykes, I think the proper term would be lispstick lesbians.

      • Facebook User

        Or you could just call them women.

  • r m

    the Lyin’ Hawaiian say ” dykes didn’t make that joke”.

  • Jason Wayne

    I’m tired of people going to comedy shows, heckling, and then acting like a victim. And yes, singling out audience members is totally fair game. If you don’t want that to happen, don’t go to comedy shows, or sit in the back and shut your trap. Or better yet, check out a comedian’s act before you go see them. Why were these women at an Eddie Griffin show? This is not out of character. It’s like going to see a Stallone movie, and then suing because of all the violence you saw.

    Comedian’s need to stop apologizing, or else freedom of speech in comedy is going to go away like it has in all other fields. The worst reaction to a comedian should be, “I didn’t like that, it wasn’t funny, I’m no longer a fan.”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LYGUGSPODDFQALP7DZO5VECZDI Therese Z

    She didn’t respond in kind – he insulted her with words, she should have responded right back and she would have been right – I’d have cheered her. But instead she escalated it to violence, she threw a drink. That’s wrong. “Feeling threatened,” my old white butt. Insult comedy is threatening and dangerous, that’s why some people think it’s amusing (I don’t, but Don Rickles can have his success, I don’t care).

  • Crazydaysandnights

    I believe everything is fair play in comedy, but there is ALWAYS a line that shouldn’t be crossed, and Eddie Griffin crossed it. The bottom line is, he targeted this woman because she’s a lesbian and basically sexually assaulted her (yes, making sexually aggressive comments and thrusting your dick in the face of a woman who asks you to stop is sexual assault) and then verbally attacked her after she defended herself. 

    Ms. Walshe shouldn’t have thrown the drink, but this incident wouldn’t have occurred if Eddie Griffin didn’t act in the horrific manner that he did. She’s got a good case and Eddie Griffin and the comedy club in Pleasonton is definitely in line to get sued.

  • Tony

    Does it bother anyone that his spokeswoman doesn’t know the difference between “sensor” and “censor”?

  • bob

    Suck it up u lesbian fucks its a show u got mad fun of everyone does at some point in their life

  • Guest

    This pisses me off.. I understand that she sorta started this fight, but at a time when gays are being humiliated and STILL don’t have the same rights as the typical straight guy or woman. His suppose “joke” is as if you where joking about the Holocaust.. That’s something you don’t joke about. And the audience had NO RIGHT to participate in the man’s actions of fighting back.. He obviously can apparently handle himself when he poured that drink on her head. And if he was truly a comedian and a person with decency, he should have brushed it off and went on a different subject. Yes, I know when you go to these types of events, you expect criticism.. Especially if you sit up close. But he still should’ve not even gone to that subject.. When you give the gay community it deserved rights, then you can joke about it.. Also, has anyone notice, he say that if she didn’t want to get picked on, she shouldn’t have sat in the front right? Well, that’s like saying to an African American to sit in the back of the bus.. I MEAN WHAT IS THAT.. Gays and lesbian are no different than any other person. They just love the same gender.. Why won’t the human race evolve!

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.rush.50702 Michael Rush

    If she didn’t like his act, she should have gotten up and left and asked for a refund.  Physically assaulting the performer by throwing a drink is illegal behavior (and not acceptable by any means).   It does sound like Griffin was being an unfunny rude person, but that doesn’t justify physical violence.

  • http://twitter.com/staleface77 John Staley

    Killing someone in war ain’t murder so pelvic thrustin’ in the club ain’t sexual assault, brotha!

  • Ron Jeremy

    If you can’t take a joke, then don’t go to a comedy club. This is just another example of how people try to use being gay to make money. And the lawyer is a joke. Probably his husband or wife left him and now he’s scrambling for cash. I think Griff’s lawyers will smash him to the ground.

  • koolington

    Yo Eddie! Keep up the good, Bro! I am a HUGE fan and they should realize that it comes along with the territory. Don’t give ‘em a penny!

    • Venn

      Eddie Griffin has also been a bigot and racist more so towards white people, he also enjoys dog fighting and it looks like you koolington are just as bad as him. I think comedy would be way better without Eddie Griffin in the mix. For instance Kat Williams and Chris Rock are way funnier and they don’t cross lines like Griffin does, he’s scum.

      • Venn

        Forgot about Kevin Hart, he’s also a great comedian way better than Eddie Griffin.

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