Megastar Liza Minnelli is fighting back as she is hammered with lawsuits from every direction.
Estranged spouse David Gest is claiming assault and now a former bodyguard is alleging he was forced to endure beatings and reluctant sexual romps. With millions at stake in claim and counter claim, Minnelli is hitting back and is resting her civil action on the fact that she has been totally traumatised since discovering Gest's looks did not improve after she sobered up following their wedding ceremony.
The Cabaret star's close friend and ally, popular recording artist Michael Jackson, will give testimony that his behaviour also became somewhat erratic after glimpsing Gest in broad daylight.
In a six-page complaint filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, personal bodyguard M'hammed Soumayah said that "without his consent," he was forced to have sexual relations with Minnelli.
He is seeking $100m in damages for "the trauma of having parts of his body close to parts of a body that had, at one time, been close to parts of a body belonging to Mr David Gest, thereby suffering psychological trauma and to suffer recurring cavernous breakdown."
The actress/songstress, in an affidavit, said she would "vigorously" defend herself against his charges and says Soumayah has caused her "personal distress and pain" by violating a confidentiality agreement he had signed. This, apparently, covered informing Minnelli whenever she was sober that she had, in fact, married Gest.
According to sources close to the musical superstar, Minnelli thought Gest looked the way he did because she was, literally, seeing him through the bottom of a martini glass.
"When she didn't have a glass in front of her, it became apparent that David actually looked that way," explained one friend.
"It was too much for her and we were all sworn to complete secrecy as Liza thought the whole sorry episode was just a drunken nightmare."
Pop's Peter Pan, Michael Jackson, has been a tower of support' to the miniscule Minnelli, say friends. He is willing to swear under oath that an early morning sighting of Gest prompted a bout of self-mutilation.
Gest, meanwhile, is lying low in the catacombs beneath Broadway, NYC, trying to "find himself" and recover from the whole sorry affair. Wounded by the row brewing above ground in his name, the aesthetically challenged concert producer's wails can be heard echoing through the disused underground, backed by the strains of a pipe organ.
Fox, reportedly keen to do a movie on the story of Gest's sad descent into despair, is currently locked in a battle with Andrew Lloyd Webber over copyright.
The British composer believes the story is all too familiar, adding:"A sad, ugly, lonely man hiding in the shadows of the underworld - pining for love and affection from the woman he loves - come on guys. Ok, so Phantom was markedly better looking than Gest, but give me a break!"