Cesar Millan is definitely in the dog house for this one.
Cesar is famous for being great with dogs — he’s literally built a career around his nickname, “the Dog Whisperer.” He recently launched a new series for National Geographic, Better Human Better Dog, which is currently streaming on Disney+. Having dog troubles wouldn’t be great for his brand — let alone a lawsuit involving a killer pit bull, an injured gymnast, and Queen Latifah!
If that string of words has your head spinning, we’re with you. But TMZ obtained court documents of a lawsuit filed by Lidia Matiss, who is suing the TV personality for unspecified damages after she sustained serious injuries from his pit bull, Junior, that left her “impaired,” “wounded,” and “disfigured.”
According to the outlet, Lidia encountered the canine in 2017 while visiting her mom, who worked for Cesar, at an office building in Van Nuys, CA, which was owned by the pet wrangler. She claimed that Junior was “roaming the halls unsupervised and unleashed” and attacked her, “repeatedly biting her on the legs, including her left calf.” The young woman had to go to the emergency room and reportedly suffered severe injuries.
At the time, Lidia was a “star gymnast” who performed at a Level 10, which is the highest level in the USA Gymnastics Junior Olympics Programs, per the court documents. She also claimed she was “being actively recruited by the University of Pennsylvania.” Unfortunately, her injuries from the attack were apparently so severe that “she could no longer compete due to the extreme pain she was enduring.” She now “continues to suffer physical and emotional pain,” according to the filing.
In the documents filed by her lawyers Omar G. Qureshi and Brian M. Adesman, Lidia argues that Cesar “knew Junior had a history of violence yet regularly allowed the dog to roam free.” According to the filing, this wasn’t the first time Junior had attacked a person, and he had also “mauled several dogs” — including one belonging to Queen Latifah.
Here’s where things get even crazier: the filing claims the Living Single alum brought two of her dogs to Cesar’s Dog Psychology Center in Santa Clarita, CA, where Junior actually “mauled one of her dogs to death”!
The Dog Whisperer’s pit bull was a KILLER?!
Not only that, but Lidia alleges the 52-year-old “covered it up by telling his staff to tell Queen Latifah the dog was hit and killed by a car.”
Bringing your dog to a trainer only to have your pet killed by one of the TRAINER’S dogs? That is severely messed up! We wonder if Queen Latifah has been made aware of the cover up — sounds like she should file her own lawsuit, TBH!
— Queen Latifah (@IAMQUEENLATIFAH) January 14, 2018
And the fact that Lidia has all this tea… we imagine that her mother being part of Cesar’s staff helped her get a LOT of insider info. Not looking good for the Dog Whisperer right now!
Speaking of, TMZ reported that he filed an answer to Lidia’s suit, in which he claimed that she “assumed the risk of being bitten because she knew of the danger” and describing her as “negligent,” although he didn’t elaborate on how. Not a promising defense if his argument is that a non-employee should have been aware he was allowing a dangerous, violent dog to roam free in her mom’s office building.
According to the trainer’s Instagram, Junior sadly passed away in July — but the lawsuit goes on, and we imagine it could mean big trouble for Cesar. We’ll be interested to see how this plays out.
[Image via Queen Latifah/Twitter & Cesar Millan/Instagram]