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More Details on the Mark Houston vs. Lucy McIntosh Assault Case

Legal filings reveal more about the incident in question

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Lucy McIntosh and Mark Houston
Matthew Kang is the Lead Editor of Eater LA. He has covered dining, restaurants, food culture, and nightlife in Los Angeles since 2008. He's the host of K-Town, a YouTube series covering Korean food in America, and has been featured in Netflix's Street Food show.

Update June 2018: Mark Houston’s Legal Issues End as Former Girlfriend Drops Suit Alleging Abuse [ELA]

Last week on December 6, bar and restaurant owner Mark Houston (Black Rabbit Rose, No Vacancy) filed a defamation and extortion lawsuit against former girlfriend and international model Lucy McIntosh. Later that evening, McIntosh posted a photo of her bloodied face on Instagram naming Houston as the perpetrator of domestic violence against her. On December 7, Lucy McIntosh filed a lawsuit alleging assault, battery, intentional affliction of emotional distress, and negligence.

Eater LA obtained copies of both legal filings and found numerous details that have not been reported in previous media articles. A jury trial has been requested and the next court date is scheduled for March 28, 2018. Here’s a summary of the new findings related to the events in question, plus some new findings about the relationship between Houston and McIntosh.

McIntosh’s filings are relatively brief, providing some information about what she alleges happened the evening of September 22, 2017, the alleged date of the assault. Meanwhile, Houston’s account goes into details of what he claims are McIntosh’s prior relationships and circumstantial information that attempts to exonerate him of any alleged assault or battery.

Per legal filings, here is McIntosh’s account of the evening of September 22, 2017

McIntosh says that she and Houston dated for one-and-a-half years and were living together at the time of the incident. Here’s how her filings recount the evening in question:

On the evening of September 22, 2017, Ms. McIntosh and Defendant (Mark Houston), after being out together for the evening, returned to their shared home. Defendant went immediately to bed, while Ms. McIntosh got ready for bed. When ready for bed, Ms. McIntosh nudged Defendant to get him to move to one side of the bed. Defendant opened his eyes, formed a fist, and punched upward at Ms. McIntosh with a closed fist on the right side of the cheek and nose. Ms. McIntosh felt a crunching sensation and her nose started gushing blood. Defendant left the bedroom and walked into an empty guest room, said nothing, closed the door and went to sleep.

Her account then says she called a friend (unnamed in the filing), who came and took photographs of her face and the alleged bloody room. According to the filings, they looked for Houston but she claims he had allegedly fled the scene. She later received medical treatment for the alleged injuries, which she claims included multiple facial fractures, a broken nose, and subsequent reconstructive surgery. She also claimed to experience “constant pain, numbness, and shooting sensations” in her face.

Houston’s account of September 22, 2017

Meanwhile Houston’s account has a different timeline. In his filings, it states the following:

On or about the early morning hours of September 22, 2017, McIntosh left Houston’s home abruptly and almost immediately started text-messaging Houston photos of her face that appeared to show her face bloodied, as well as photos of other objects with pinked red “blood” on them. She told Houston that he had “done this” to her face and might have broken her nose.

Later, he claims she sent more photos of her face with no “blood,” with Houston allegedly claiming that the photos revealed a single small bruise on the right side of the bridge of her nose, and a small swollen area on her upper lip. He claims there were no other signs of injury. Note that Houston’s account puts blood in quotations throughout.

The aftermath, according to McIntosh

McIntosh hasn’t provided specific details on the treatment of her purported injuries. She claims that she was “compelled to and did employ the services of hospitals, physicians, surgeons, nurses, and the like, to care and treat her, and incurred hospital, medical, professional and incidental expenses.” Her filings don’t provide details on dates, length of hospital or emergency care stays, the names of any health care professionals who provided treatment, or any specific expenses.

The McIntosh filing says that she has suffered, and will continue to suffer, physical and emotional injuries, namely nervousness, humiliation, depression, anguish, embarassment, fright, shock, pain, discomfort, fatigue, and anxiety. It concludes by saying that the amount of damages will be ascertained at trial.

The aftermath, according to Houston

Houston, who filed his lawsuit first, provides many more details as to the aftermath of the incident. He alleges that McIntosh went on a crusade to defame and discredit Houston to many of his acquaintances and potential business partners (which were not specifically named), sending accusatory text messages to Houston’s friends and colleagues, and eventually demanding a large sum of money from Houston.

Houston claims McIntosh told numerous witnesses (who confirmed the information with signed statements under oath), that if Houston didn’t pay as much as $250,000, plus medical expenses and coverage for time she lost work, she would report to the police.

As mentioned in last Friday’s Eater article, Eater reached out to the Los Angeles Police Department, who stated that an incident report had been filed, but that they could could not provide any further information due to victim confidentiality.

On November 8, Houston’s counsel says they received a demand letter from McIntosh’s attorney saying an alleged solitary punch (after Houston had supposedly woken up from an intoxicated sleep) had caused a fractured face and nose. According to Houston’s counsel, in the letter, McIntosh demanded $657,900 or threatened to file suit. These details are not included in McIntosh’s complaint against Houston.

Alleged inconsistencies in the medical report

Houston’s filing has many details that attempt to undermine McIntosh’s recounting of the alleged incident. Among them, he claims that a CT scan report (not the actual scan, just a report of the CT scan) found “two tiny fractures adjacent to each other on the bridge of McIntosh’s nose, but had no other fracture to her eye or cheek, and nothing remarkable about the appearance of the soft tissue.”

In Houston’s filing, two weeks after the alleged incident, McIntosh underwent a cosmetic surgery “to correct a deviated septum” in the amount of $8,900. He claims that along with other elective medical procedures that McIntosh had received in the last year and a half, she demanded Houston pay for the deviated septum procedure, which he eventually did. Houston claims that in a letter written at McIntosh’s request, the doctor, Michael Elam, said she might “have some sensitivity to the nasal tip.”

The supposed letter doesn’t mention any pain or sensitivity anywhere else on the nose or face, “including the area where the purported bruise was located on the September 22, 2017 photos.” The Houston filing later claims McIntosh appeared at charity events and parties, and posted social media photos just days after the surgery, “looking flawless.”