Cesar Millan is no stranger to messy, sad situations involving dogs, but usually, his questionable involvement in the pet world doesn’t get so Sopranos-y. At least that’s what a recently filed lawsuit alleges. The lawsuit claims that Cesar’s dog Junior killed one of Queen Latifah’s dogs and he covered it up. The lawsuit isn’t coming from Queen Latifah herself – she’s just being dragged into it by the daughter of one of Cesar’s former employees, who claims Junior attacked her and killed her gymnastics career.
TMZ says that a woman named Lidia Matiss filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles, where she claims the incident took place in 2017. She states that four years ago, she went to visit her mother at an office building in Van Nuys, California that was owned by Cesar. Lidia’s mother worked for Cesar, although it’s not stated in which capacity she was employed. But it doesn’t really matter, the point here is that Lidia wasn’t greeted by a cheerful receptionist, but by Junior, who was allegedly roaming the halls unleashed. Lidia claims that Junior mistook her legs for two extra-large Snausages, and allegedly attacked, biting her legs several times and injuring her left calf muscle. She claims she was rushed to the ER, where it was determined her injuries were “severe.” Lidia claims in her lawsuit that the pain from the dog attack was so bad, it forced her to quit gymnastics. By that time, Lidia has risen to the position of Level 10. In USA Gymnastics terms, that means she was right under the “Elite” level, which is where gymnasts may begin competing in Olympic trials. Lidia says she was being actively recruited by the University of Pennsylvania, but that all ended when Junior allegedly attacked her.
Here’s where Queen Latifah comes in. Lidia accuses Cesar of fully knowing that Junior was aggressive and violent, and he still chose to allow Junior of roaming the halls of his office. She says that in addition to her own attack, Junior had bitten several people and mauled several dogs, including one of Queen’s dogs. About a year after Lidia’s alleged attack, Queen Latifah began training sessions with Cesar. Not exactly a secret, as Queen Latifah tweeted about it at the time:
— Queen Latifah (@IAMQUEENLATIFAH) January 14, 2018
According to Lidia, those training sessions ended with the death of one of Queen Latifah’s dogs, the truth of which might have been hidden from Latifah:
According to the lawsuit, Queen Latifah brought 2 of her dogs to Cesar’s Dog Psychology Center in Santa Clarita, CA. She says Junior mauled one of her dogs to death, and Lidia claims Cesar covered it up by telling his staff to tell Queen Latifah the dog was hit and killed by a car.
About a month after Queen Latifah posted about working with Cesar, she posted this to social media, informing her followers that one of her dogs had passed away.
Junior died in July. USA Today notes that Junior’s cause of death was never revealed, although Cesar says he had Junior for 15 years. Lidia claims she continues to live with physical and emotional pain from the alleged attack, and she’s seeing an unspecified amount of damages. Cesar has responded to Lidia’s lawsuit. via TMZ:
Cesar filed an answer to the lawsuit, claiming, among other things, Lidia assumed the risk of being bitten because she knew of the danger. He also claims Lidia herself was negligent, although he doesn’t say how.
Well, Cesar will have to start talking, in the event he finds himself face to face with a suspicious Queen Latifah and one of her lawyers, asking Cesar if he remembers what kind of car hit Kiwi again, and if the driver stayed on the scene or fled. You can’t “TSCH!” your way out of that one, Cesar.