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Chris Brown and Drake Sued for $16M Over SoHo Club Brawl

By James Fanelli | August 15, 2012 2:19pm | Updated on August 15, 2012 3:07pm

MANHATTAN — Chris Brown and Drake ignited the bottle-hurling brawl at a SoHo nightclub that injured nearly two dozen people — torpedoing the former club owner's $4 million deal to license the nightspot's name around the country, a new lawsuit charges.

The two musicians are being sued for $16 million and are accused of ordering their beefy security teams to throw "highball glasses laden with alcohol" and shatter "the handles of bottles of spirits to use as makeshift knives" during the June 14 melee at Greenhouse and its sister club W.i.P.

Entertainment Enterprises, which is owned by Jon Bakhshi, filed the lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court Tuesday, saying it owns the trademark to the "Greenhouse" brand and the rampage damaged its reputation. Bakhshi is a former co-owner of the Greenhouse club.

Before the June 14 dust-up, Entertainment Enterprises had reached a $4 million "agreement-in-principle" to license the Greenhouse brand to nightclubs around the country, the lawsuit says. 

The deal was the result of "the cachet and prestige associated with the Greenhouse marks," the lawsuit says.

But Entertainment Enterprises claims the deal was destroyed after the musicians' melee, "explaining that the Greenhouse marks were now associated with the kind of violent, life-threatening riot engaged in by [Brown and Drake], and that they were now worthless." 

The lawsuit claims both Brown and Drake had arrived at Greenhouse's sister club, W.i.P., with an entourage of "at least 15 heavily built men trained and/or experienced in hand-to-hand and weapons combat."

The musicians' romantic rivalry over pop star Rihanna allegedly sparked the brawl. Brown and Drake "crossed paths in one of the nightclubs and began to fight violently with each other" and ordered their boozed-up crews to join in, the lawsuit says.

The flying bottles "terrorized patrons," who ducked for cover behind each other and shielded themselves with tables and banquettes, the lawsuit says.

Nearly two dozen people were hurt in the rampage. Several injured club-goers have sued Greenhouse, including NBA star Tony Parker, who is seeking $20 million after his eye was hit with a shard of glass.

In the brawl's aftermath, the NYPD temporarily shut down Greenhouse and W.i.P. The clubs, which are in the same building, re-opened after agreeing to pay a fine and hire more security.

Greenhouse has previously been fined by the State Liquor Authority for other fights and bad behavior at their club.

A lawyer for Entertainment Enterprises declined to comment. Representatives for Brown and Drake, whose real name is Aubrey Drake Graham, did not respond to requests for comment.