Brandy Sued For $50 Million Over Fatal Crash
Tue, 30 Jan 2007 09:11:52
Things keep getting worse for R & B star and former Moesha actress Brandy Norwood, who was ruled at fault in a December 30th freeway accident that killed 38-year-old Awatef Aboudihaj. First the California Highway Patrol recommended that Brandy be charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter; now Aboudihaj's family has filed a $50 million wrongful death suit against the singer, alleging that her reckless driving was the cause of the crash.
"We know that Brandy's at fault for the chain reaction of the collision," said Leland Tang, a spokesman for the California Highway Patrol. The investigation by the CHP cleared Brandy of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the collision. The singer rear-ended Aboudijah's vehicle at a high speed on the 405 Freeway and forced it against the center divider, where it was struck by another car. A witness at the scene told TMZ that Brandy repeatedly blamed herself for causing the accident, and was "obviously disoriented and highly upset" as they waited for authorities to arrive. She later expressed her condolences to the victim's family via a statement released through her publicist. Brandy was not injured in the collision.
Aboudihaj's husband said through his attorney that he supported the recommendation to pursue charges against Brandy. The case has been referred to the Los Angeles District Attorney's office. If convicted, Brandy would face a maximum of one year in county jail and a $1,000 fine.
Brandy, for her part, has publicly expressed her condolences to the Aboudihaj family, and even after the lawsuit was filed, her spokesman Allan Mayer continued to set a sympathetic tone. "The accident was a terrible tragedy, and Brandy's heart goes out to Awatef Aboudihaj's family," he said in a statement. "But for legal reasons we cannot comment on this lawsuit."
Brandy's accident was the latest in a series of tragedies on the road for the cast of Moesha. Merlin Santana was killed by a gunshot while riding in a car, and Lamont Bentley was killed in January 2005 in an auto accident (also on the 405 Freeway).
--The ARTISTdirect Staff