Mr. Wonderful

Discussion in 'Free Speech Alley' started by Tigre, Oct 3, 2002.

  1. Tigre

    Tigre Founding Member

    Sep 24, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Care to comment about videos in YOUR possession?

    U.S. National - AP

    Homeless Men Sue 'Bumfights' Makers
    Wed Oct 2, 8:07 PM ET
    By SETH HETTENA, Associated Press Writer

    SAN DIEGO (AP) - Two homeless men who say they were paid to hurt themselves and beat each other for a video sold on the Internet filed suit Wednesday against the filmmakers, who also face criminal charges.

    Donald Brennan and Rufus Hannah say the makers of "Bumfights: A Cause for Concern" took advantage of their alcoholism to persuade them to ram their heads into steel doors and signs and get "Bumfights" tattoos in bold letters across their hands and foreheads.

    "When you're drinking for 20 years as I have, when you don't have a beer in your hand you would do anything to get one," said Brennan, who bears a "Bumfight" tattoo on his forehead in bold red letters and others on his arms and belly. "Who in their right minds is going to run their heads into a sign?"

    The men are seeking unspecified punitive damages for assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, civil rights violations and other allegations.

    After a three-month criminal investigation in the San Diego suburb of La Mesa, prosecutors last month charged four filmmakers with paying Brennan and Hannah to commit felony assaults on each other.

    The defendants — Ryan E. McPherson, Zachary Bubeck, Daniel J. Tanner and Michael Slyman — have withdrawn their innocent pleas or not entered pleas to argue that the charges have no legal basis.

    La Mesa police have said about 300,000 copies of the "Bumfights" tape have sold at $20 each.

    On the tape, a homeless man is seen ripping out his front tooth with pliers. Another man, a self-described crack addict, sets his head on fire. Others stomp and pummel each other until bloody.

    "The real bums are the bums behind the camera, not the ones in front of the camera," said Browne Greene, attorney for Brennan and Hannah. "And those are the ones we're going after."

    Hannah, a 47-year-old Army veteran, was taken to the hospital Wednesday after suffering seizures from repeatedly slamming his head for the "Bumfights" filmmakers, Greene said.

    Eileen Cornish, a spokeswoman for Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, confirmed that Hannah had been treated for a seizure and released.

    Brennan, a 53-year-old Army veteran twice wounded in Vietnam, needed to have a steel rod inserted in his leg after breaking it in two places while fighting with Hannah in a scene that appears on the video.

    Brennan, who has lived on the streets of his hometown of La Mesa for 10 years, said the stunts grew increasingly violent over time.

    "I feel like I've been deceived, degraded, manipulated, lied to," he said.

    Brennan said he has stopped drinking, is living in a motel room and looking for a permanent home.

    Besides the four defendants, the suit names two other men who identified themselves in press reports as producers of the "Bumfights" video.

    It also names James McPherson, Ryan's father, who allegedly helped his son make the tape and hide from police, said Mark Quigley, attorney for the plaintiffs.

    McPherson has an unlisted phone number and his son's attorney did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

    Attorneys for the defendants have said their clients never encouraged violence and that much of the action was rehearsed.
  2. Mr. Wonderful

    Mr. Wonderful Founding Member

    Sep 11, 2002
    Likes Received:
    What's the difference? What's worse?

    Getting videotaped and tattooed for this work of art or being taken to the polls to vote Democratic in a Presidential election?

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