Brian Mulligan, the entertainment turned financial executive who made headlines last year after he admitted to snorting bath salts prior to a bloody altercation with police officers, slapped the Los Angeles Police Department with a $20 million lawsuit yesterday, on charges of civil rights violations, assault, and -- in a further twist in the bizarre case -- false imprisonment.
The former co-chairman of Universal Pictures alleges that two LAPD officers forced him to rent a motel room and trapped him inside as a “setup” to extort $3000 from him. The suit also claims that Mulligan's attempt to escape was the catalyst that led to the officers battering his face and snapping both his shoulder bones.
The LAPD insists its officers acted in self defense against a drug-fueled assailant. According to a police report, the officers were responding to reports of a white man breaking into cars, when they found their apparent target in Mulligan, who was allegedly drenched in sweat. The report describes the since-fired Deutsche Bank executive “arching his back, holding up both arms above his head, and contorting his hands in a claw-like manner while simultaneously baring his teeth and snarling.”
Skip Miller, Mulligan’s lawyer, dismissed the LAPD's emphasis on "white lightning" -- the form of the synthetic drug known as bath salts that Mulligan said he snorted 20 times in hopes of easing his insomnia -- as mudslinging that distracts from the charge of assault. “Bath salts are not the issue,” Miller told The Huffington Post. “They smashed him in the face with a baton, and they cracked his scapula in two places. I’ve never heard of that as police procedure.”
The LAPD declined HuffPost's request for comment.
Mulligan's complaint casts the assault as the latest in a pattern of abuses by one of the officers involved, James Nichols, who is currently under investigation on charges of extorting sex from women. The Huffington Post has obtained a copy of a suit filed in December 2012 against Nichols by a female police informant, who claims he threatened her with jail time unless she had sex with him. (While the suit incorrectly identifies both officers involved as Bill Nichols and Gus Venenzuela instead of James Nichols and Luis Valenzuela, HuffPost has been told this was a filing error.)