Published On: Tue, Sep 12th, 2017

Ex-Knicks star Oakley sues MSG, Dolan over removal from game

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Former New York Knicks basketball star Charles Oakley on Tuesday filed a civil lawsuit against Madison Square Garden Co, MSG Networks Inc and their executive chairman, James Dolan, in connection with his forcible removal from a Knicks game in February.

Oakley, a power forward and center who played for the Knicks from 1988 to 1998, brought defamation, assault and battery, false imprisonment and other claims against several defendants.

The lawsuit was filed fewer than six weeks after Oakley reportedly resolved misdemeanor criminal charges arising from the televised Feb. 8 incident, in which he was removed from the Garden.

Oakley said Dolan and MSG thereafter launched a “coordinated and defamatory” public relations campaign in which they accused him of abusive behavior and having an alcohol problem.

“By propagating these blatant lies about Mr. Oakley, Defendants Dolan and MSG have caused irreparable harm to his name and career,” in a “transparent attempt to denigrate his standing among Knicks fans,” the complaint said.

Neither Madison Square Garden nor MSG immediately responded to requests for comment.

Oakley is represented by Douglas Wigdor, who has filed unrelated bias and retaliation lawsuits on behalf of more than 20 current and former Fox News employees.

“Mr. Oakley filed this lawsuit out of principle and his desire to hold Mr. Dolan accountable for his actions,” Wigdor said in a statement.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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