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Panthers LB Beason fights suit over alleged strip-club attack

Jon Beason's civil trial for an alleged assault in a Charlotte, N.C., strip club began Tuesday with the attorney for the man suing the Carolina Panthers linebacker claiming that the NFL player had "failed to take responsibility for his actions" and owed his client punitive damages, *The Charlotte Observer* reported.

Beason's attorney told jurors the four-year NFL veteran was "mad as hell" and wanted to hit Gregory Frye at the Uptown Cabaret in November 2009, but he didn't do so. Beason is countersuing, claiming Fyre slandered him.

Frye's attorney, Curtis Osborne, said in his opening statement that his client had suffered a crushed nasal cavity, a facial fracture, and swelling on the left side of his head after Beason "dropped him with one punch." Frye claims in his lawsuit that he was attacked after he told another Panthers player that he had seen Beason "up at the lake, doing coke with some girl." Frye claims he saw the incident in June 2009 at the annual Lake Bash at Lake Norman in North Carolina.

Beason, 26, has denied hitting Frye and the cocaine allegations. He was arrested after the alleged assault, but criminal charges were dropped 11 days later for lack of evidence, prosecutors said at the time, the newspaper reported.

George Laughrun, Beason's attorney, called the three-time Pro Bowl player "a good upstanding man" and said Beason had controlled his emotions. "He was mad as hell," Laughrun told jurors, The Observer reported. "He wanted to sack him like Ben Roethlisberger."

Frye, in his suit, said he told Panthers tight end Dante Rosario that he had seen Beason and a woman "engaging in what he believed to be snorting cocaine," and that he was approached later by Beason's driver and bodyguard, who told him that the player was livid and that he needed "to go talk to him."

Frye alleges Beason came up to him soon after "in a noticeably angry manner, cursing and yelling at Frye about the cocaine statement." As the men were walking outside to discuss the issue, Frye claims, Beason struck him twice.

Laughrun told jurors he and Beason will ask for a $1 award in the countersuit. "It's not about money ...," Laughrun said. "He wants his (reputation) back."

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