Rumor has it that Steven Seagal is a creep. As former Pride commentator and fight coordinator Stephen Quadros relates “I had heard all the horror stories about how he would hurt actors and stunt performers, dislocated shoulders, kick guys in the nuts to see if they were wearing cups, etc. I had heard about Gene LeBell."
The LeBell story is legend.
As the story goes, in 1991, Gene LeBell was working as a stunt coordinator on Out for Justice. At some point Seagal announced that due to his Aikido training, he was immune to chokes. When then 58-year-old LeBell heard about the claim, he gave Seagal the opportunity to test it.
LeBell set the choke up, Seagal said "Go" and Seagal promptly went. As the story goes, Seagal went out, and went all the way, in his trousers.
Ever since, either because of a rumored legal gag order (see action figure for confirmation :-), or because in the stunt business what happens on the set stays on the set, LeBell has never fully confirmed the story.
On Ariel Helwani's The MMA Hour recently, Seagal vehemently denied the Gene LeBell dookie pants story.
“I don’t even know if he is still alive. Is he still alive? I never knew this about him – either he is a pathological liar or he had somebody making up these stories. He came over to my trailer and I was with a guy called Conrad Palmisano who is still a legend, one of the greatest stunt co-ordinators in the history of Hollywood.
“[LeBell and I] were standing there talking about moves and stuff like that and we were just doing some stretching and he was showing me how you can stretch … he wanted to stretch my back and then I kind of flipped over the top of him and said ‘thank you for that.'
“There was never any confrontation with him ever. In any way, shape or form. And I swear to god on my children – and they are the most precious thing in my life – if he is saying that he is a pathological scumbag liar. I keep answering that. Either he made up this lie or someone made it up.
“When I first heard it was dumbfounded and so was Conrad Palmisano, who you are welcome to talk to, he was standing right there. He’s probably the most famous stunt co-ordinator in our business and a Vietnam veteran, a great salt of the earth and an honest, upright non-lying man.
“Gene Le Bell has never even said anything impolite to me. When he has seen me he has been extremely polite to me and just acted like a friend. I think you know the truth here and everyone else knows the truth and if Gene is saying shit like that he should be ashamed of himself.
“And after I heard this I did start to think of some other things he had said, like he said to me he had beat the shit out of Bruce Lee and I started to think well maybe this guy is a pathological liar. He should never make up these kind of sick… you know… It just makes him look like a total a------. It makes him look like a demented child.”
LeBell protege and currently most quoted figure in MMA Ronda Rousey rose to LeBell's defense yesterday in an interview with Spencer Lazara of MMAinterviews.tv.
"Would you ever admit it, A, and B, I mean, obviously the guy's a liar. He told everybody he taught Anderson Silva that kick. I mean, seriously, the guy doesn't have a very good track record," said Rousey.
"No, [Steven Seagal is not legit]. "He's Aikido. I mean, Aikido's cool, but who in MMA does Aikido? Who has an Aikido background? 'So and so coming to the cage is a world champion with a background in Aikido.' You never heard that once. Have you heard that once? That's for a reason."
"It's because Gene LeBell would destroy Steven Seagal again even as old as they are now. If they had like a super master-master division, Gene would still throw it down, man. I'd still put my money on him to this day."
"I don't want to give anyone another quote, alright, I'm going to give you another quote. I would beat the crap out of Steven Seagal."
"If he says anything bad about Gene to my face, I would be forced to do something. I would have to make him crap his pants a second time."
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