Nick Saban's daughter asks judge to end lawsuit over fight with sorority sister
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) The daughter of University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban said evidence proves she isn't to blame for a fight with a sorority sister who is now suing over the brawl, and she is asking a judge to rule in her favor.
Lawyers for Kristen Saban have filed legal documents asking Tuscaloosa County Circuit Judge James H. Roberts Jr. to end the lawsuit, filed last year by Sarah Grimes.
Grimes and Saban had been at odds because the coach's daughter didn't invite Grimes to a workout in the Crimson Tide football facility or the premiere of a movie about the coach, and talks involving the coach's wife after the fracas failed to avert the lawsuit, documents show.
Roberts had not ruled Thursday on the request for a judgment in favor of Kristen Saban, who made the request last week. The judge also has not ruled on a previous motion by Saban to dismiss the suit.
Sworn statements filed by friends of the two describe the altercation as a dispute that quickly got out of hand after a night of heavy drinking. Grimes got mad at Saban over a Facebook post, and the two were soon fighting, the statements say.
"Both of them were throwing punches but it was more of a cat fight than anything else," Hannah Muncher said in a statement filed as evidence in the suit. "Not many punches were landed, they were mainly just scratching and pulling hair."
In court pleadings, Saban said sworn statements and other evidence show that Grimes was the aggressor during the 2010 fight, which followed a night of partying at a bar and Saban's apartment.
Saban said she was only defending herself after Grimes became enraged over a post on Facebook and screamed threats. Sworn statements by witnesses show the two had a brief fight before Grimes went to a hospital complaining of injuries.
Grimes contends the coach's daughter left her with injuries that led to more than $16,000 in medical bills, although friends said Grimes seemed normal and continued an active social life following the altercation.
While the football coach is not involved in the suit, documents filed in the case show that his wife, Terry Saban, spoke with the Grimes family after the fight, which occurred Aug. 29, 2010.
In transcripts of sworn testimony filed in court, Grimes told lawyers her mother talked with Terry Saban after the fight, and both she and her mother were offered football tickets and parking passes. Grimes did not state directly who made the offer or whether it was supposedly in exchange for dropping the matter and avoiding a lawsuit.
Grimes testified that she was interested in getting both money to cover medical bills and assurances to prevent a similar altercation from occurring again, but the discussions apparently failed and Grimes filed suit last year.
The night of the fight, Grimes and Kristen Saban were upset with each other partly because of a boy, but they had other issues beforehand, according to sworn statements filed by mutual friends.
Courtney Riegel, a member of the Phi Mu sorority with Saban and Grimes, said Grimes had become "really mad" with Kristen Saban when she wasn't invited with other young women to work out in the Alabama football facility, where the Crimson Tide practices.
Also, Riegel said, Grimes was upset that she wasn't invited to the Birmingham premiere of a movie called "Nick Saban: Gamechanger," a documentary that opened in August 2010.
Muncher, another friend of the two, said Grimes began yelling at Kristen Saban through a door about a Facebook post on the night of the fight. Things happened quickly when Saban opened the door, she said.
"When Kristen opened the door Sarah immediately came at her throat and was punching at Kristen. Kristen defended herself and landed a punch on Sarah's nose or eye," Muncher said.
Grimes contends Kristen Saban attacked her, and Kristen Saban has punched at least three other people in separate incidents, Grimes claimed in court documents.