Back in 2017, New York Knicks legend Charles Oakley was arrested and charged with two counts of assault, one count of harassment and one count of trespassing, after an altercation at Madison Square Garden.
The incident was caught on tape and showed Oakley being physically removed from the Garden, which in turn, led to widespread backlash in Oakley’s defense. But, MSG staff members claimed the legendary baller was drunk, which prompted his forceful removal. However, Oakley vehemently denied those claims.
In turn, he filed a lawsuit against the legendary venue and Knicks owner James Dolan for defamation, assault, and false imprisonment, claiming the entire incident stemmed from his public comments about the state of the Knicks. In the suit, Oakley demanded compensation for emotional distress and mental anguish and damages for his reputation.
But now, just three years later, a judge has ruled to dismiss the suit. “This case has had the feel of a public relations campaign,” U.S. Circuit Judge Richard J. Sullivan said in his decision to dismiss, according to ESPN, “with the parties seemingly more interested in the court of public opinion than the merits of their legal arguments.”
“That is perhaps understandable, given the personal and public nature of the dispute,” he said. “But while basketball fans in general, and Knicks fans in particular, are free to form their own opinions about who was in the right and whether Oakley’s ejection was motivated by something more than the whims of the teams owner, the fact remains that Oakley has failed to allege a plausible legal claim that can meet federal pleading standards,” he added, as he dismissed the suit.
From there, according to TMZ, the Knicks released a statement, hoping for peace between their legend and their owner. “We thank the court for its ruling. This was an incident that no one was happy about. Maybe there can be peace between us,” the statement read.
The case against Oakley was dismissed and sealed in 2018.