Steve Austin and ex-girlfriend Tess Broussard were involved in yet another physical confrontation earlier this month, this time at Beverly Hills, California restaurant Il Fornaio’s. This time it ended up with a trip to the emergency room, an arrest, and a lawsuit filed.
According to an article in the paid subscription area of The Los Angeles Times today, Austin and his business manager George Vrabeck had brought Broussard to California to present her with a $1.5 million check in exchange for Broussard moving on and out of Austin’s life and agreeing not to pursue legal ramifications over different incidents involving the couple over the last year. It’s clear that Austin wanted to keep himself out of the headlines with the agreement.
“I’m not a rocket scientist,” Austin told The Times “But I knew I had to get out of this relationship….The plan was to go out, have a nice steak, hand [Broussard] a check and get on with my life.”
After having dinner with Broussard at Mastro’s Steakhouse, the two went to meet Vrabeck, who was eating at Il Fornaio nearby, waiting with the check and a security guard stationed in a parked car. Once they arrived, however, Austin said that things changed, ” All of a sudden Tess said, ‘Honey, we’re not breaking up. We just had a wonderful night.’ She started getting really irate, saying, ‘You can’t do this ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Â you just can’t break up with me now.'” She apparently became very attached to Austin.
Austin told The Times that Broussard, “…went up over the top of the table with a steak knife and she was trying to stab me.” Vrabeck got involved and everyone went down in a scuffle. Austin’s security guard handcuffed Broussard to a chair. Vrabeck ended up with a deep cut to his left arm while Austin banged his head on the sidewalk.
The story becomes interesting with Broussard’s explanation. Broussard, who works an actress in softcore porn films, claimed that she was lured by Austin and Vrabeck to the restaurant for a fabricated assault (kind of like professional wrestling). She says this in a lawsuit that was filed last week. The lawsuit asks for $10 million in damages and brings up a Texas incident from several months ago where Austin allegedly caused her permanent injury while driving drunk and hitting a tree with her as passenger. It’s noted in the article that Austin claimed to be sober during the accident and that police reports of the incident back Austin’s claim. Click here to learn how and where to find auto accident attorney in Georgia.
Broussard’s series of events in Beverly Hills were, as expected, completely different from Austin’s. She told the Times that Vrabeck, “grabbed me and shoved me down in my chair. When I tried to get up, out of nowhere some guy came up from behind me and knocked me down, yelling, ‘Get down!’ as if gunshots were going to be fired. The next thing I know, he’s on top of me and I’m handcuffed. And there’s George dumping over the table. Then I see him bend down and it looks like he’s stabbing himself. All of a sudden, he says, ‘I’m bleeding,’ and the bodyguard says, ‘I saw you stab him!’ “Obviously I’d been set up. Steve had threatened me, in no uncertain terms, that I’d get screwed over if I didn’t drop [a proposed] personal injury suit.”
Broussard was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon, which carries a maximum penalty of a $10,000 fine and four years in prison. She is due in court on 9/1 and is currently out on $30,000 bail.
The article noted that Austin’s manager, Barry Bloom, has hired Sitrick & Co., a crisis-management public relations firm that has represented the likes of Rush Limbaugh, R. Kelly and Paula Poundstone in the past. The firm’s Michael Mayer told the Times that he instructed Austin to come forth first. “Steve is a celebrity with millions of fans,” said Mayer. “If he’s involved in anything that smacks of something lurid or sensational, it’s going to affect him. If you don’t tell your own story, someone is going to tell it for you, and chances are you won’t like the way it comes out.”
Broussard alleged in the article that while things were good early in the relationship, Austin, “turned into another character ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Â mean, horrible, violent and emotionally abusive. He drank every night, beginning at 6 p.m. until he would pass out around 1 a.m.” When it was noted that Austin claimed she had a problem with medication, she responded, “He got me started on pills. He’d open my mouth like an animal and stick the pills in my mouth. He said, if I’m taking them, you’re taking them too.” Austin denied the charge while admitting he takes a variety of prescription drugs, prescribed for insomnia and “neurological issues,” stemming from his neck issues after the Owen Hart tombstone at Summerslam ’97.
The article notes that both admit a March incident in Austin’s San Antonio home (he’s since moved to Los Angeles and is staying with Diamond Dallas Page). Broussard claimed that Austin, “stomped on my broken foot where I have permanent physical damage from the car accident.” Austin claims that when he tried to leave the home, Broussard grabbed a gold necklace around his neck (the one given to him by the late Brian Pillman) and jumped on his back, forcing him to physically remove her. Broussard claimed that she didn’t file charges as she planned, saying, “I played everything down. I got scared. He said he’d screw me over if I filed charges.” Austin denied that charge as well.
The article also features comments from Henry Garza, lead guitarist of Texas rock band Los Lonely Boys, who claimed that he saw Broussard once pull a gun on Austin. “She put it right up to Steve’s head, like she was trying to get him to do something,” he says. “Then she pointed it at me, which was when I really got scared.” Broussard claimed that she recalled “playing” with a gun but never pointed it ay anyone and “I didn’t pick it up in anger.”
Asked why they would still continue to see each other despite all the problems in the past, Broussard claimed, “I was naive. He’d apologize and say he’d change and go to counseling, but he never did. He told me I was his soul mate, so I kept going back and really believed in the relationship. But it was a lot of empty promises.”
Austin’s response? “I kept seeing her because, as kooky as she was, I still loved her. I feel like I’ve been a pawn on the chessboard. I was too trusting and too nice, and that’s what I’ll have to live with.”
Austin, the biggest drawing star in American professional wrestling history, left World Wrestling Entertainment several months ago after failing to come to contractual terms. He’s currently working on the new Adam Sandler film, “The Longest Yard.”
Credit: Mike Johnson, PWInsider.com