Cesar Millan is denying the claims set forth in a recently launched lawsuit that his dog was responsible for a vicious attack that left a gymnast injured.
According to a lawsuit obtained by TMZ, Millan is being sued by gymnast Lidia Matiss, who is alleging that the attack took place when she visited her mother, who worked for Millan, at his training facility in 2017.
In her suit, Mattiss claims that Millan’s pit bull, Junior (who died earlier this year), was “unsupervised and unleashed” when the dog bit her on the legs, with her injuries “severe” enough to send her to the ER and, ultimately, cause her to stop competing in gymnastics due to the pain.
She’s also alleging that Junior had previously attacked several other dogs, including one owned by Queen Latifah that Junior “mauled to death,” with Millan covering up the incident by having his staff tell her that the dog was hit by a car.
Matiss is seeking unspecified damages.
Millan however, is firing back by accusing Mattis of attempting a shakedown.
“This incident occurred over four years ago. Two weeks ago, Ms. Mattiss’ counsel sent a letter demanding that Mr. Millan pay her $850,000 — or she would be going ‘to the press.’ Mr. Millan refused to respond to this threat, and this interview is the result,” a rep for Millan wrote in a statement obtained by People.
“As everyone knows, Cesar Millan is one of the world’s most prominent dog training experts. Over his extraordinary career, Mr. Millan has fostered, and helped — literally — thousands of behaviourally troubled animals dogs — often with dogs at risk of being ‘put down,'” the statement added.
While the statement seemingly confirms Mattis’ claims that she was bitten, the rep also pointed out that she “repeatedly returned to his property and ranch after the incident.”
As for the claims about Queen Latifah’s dog, Millan’s rep called that accusation “a blatant lie.”