Skip to main content

Did Gene LeBell make Steven Seagal $#!@ himself?

"Sometimes Steven has a tendency to cheese off the wrong people, and you can get hurt doing that." - Judo Gene LeBell

If you enjoyed this story from The MMA UnderGround, check out more stories on:
Aikido
Martial Arts History
Martial Arts on The Street


Steven Seagal is a musician, philanthropist, environmentalist, animal rights activist, producer, writer, reserve deputy sheriff, 7th-Dan in Aikido, father to sons Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida, Father of the Front Kick, and somewhat boyishly handsome action film star, with, admittedly, an odd gait. Among his elite UFC fighter brethren from Brazil, he is said to be known as 'Fritão'.

Hearing this may come as a shock, but some claim that O'Sensei Seagal is also an actual creep, at best. 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.

In 1991, the now deceased LeBell was working as a stunt coordinator on the Aikido documentary Out for Justice. It is alleged that at some point, Seagal announced that due to his extensive martial arts training, he was immune to chokes. According to this telling, when the then 58-year-old LeBell heard about the claim, he gave Seagal the opportunity to test it.

As the story goes, LeBell set the choke up, Seagal said "Go" and Seagal promptly went. As in Seagal went out, and went #1 and #2 in his pants.

Ever since, either because of a rumored legal gag order (see  below action figure for confirmation), or because in the stunt business what happens on the set stays on the set, LeBell has never confirmed or denied the story. 

steven-seagal

 Award-winning MMA journalist Ariel Helwani asked Gene to confirm or deny the Steven Seagal trousers s****ing episode.

"When we had a little altercation or difference of opinion, there were thirty stuntmen and cameramen that were watching," began LeBell. "Sometimes Steven has a tendency to cheese off the wrong people, and you can get hurt doing that."

Ariel Helwani: "I've had the privilege and honor of interviewing one Sensei Steven Seagal."

Gene LeBell: (Cackles) "… OK."

AH: "There is a story out there … did you in fact choke out Sensei Seagal, and is it true that he did in the process soil himself?"

GL: "Well, if a guy soils himself, you can't criticize him, because if they just had a nice big dinner an hour before, you might have a tendency to do that. ... Steven Seagal is a very outstanding martial artist. I've got nothing against Steven. ... Personally, myself I don't think he's taught these mixed martial artists how to win a match. ... He's done a lot for martial arts. But I know where he's insulted Randy Couture. Well, Randy Couture if he ever got mad would have him for lunch. ... And that isn't to put down Steven, but 'closed mouth don't catch any foot.'

AH: So, did that happen?

GL: You can't be braggadocious if you've done something. Everybody has their individual things that have happened. I personally don't think you should put down, as many people do with Steven, because he's trying to do his best.

AH: So does that mean, Gene, that you will not confirm this actually took place?

GL: "Well, if 30 people are watching, let them talk about it. You interview a boxer or a wrestler and its 'I, I, I' and 'me, me, me.' What do I know? Gene LeBell knows Gene LeBell. And if I tell ya the stories … everybody that tells you a story is the hero of their own story.

LINK

For the record, Seagal has repeatedly very, very pointedly denied the legend. Further, LeBell never publicly said it was true. Seagal was adamant during an interview with Ariel Helwani.

 "Gene LeBell is a pathological liar," said a visibly upset Seagal. "My children are the most sacred thing in my life. I swear on my children that we never ever had a fight at all. If someone doesn't believe me , you can ask the stunt coordinator Conrad Palmisano.

"Conrad Palmisano is a Vietnam veteran. He's a man of honor. He would never lie to anybody. You can ask him. There was never a fight.

"If LeBell said there was a fight, then he's a pathological, scumbag liar."

LINK

While it is a compelling story, no one who was there has ever confirmed it. Stuntman and martial artist Ron Balicki said emphatically and at length that he knew from witnesses that it did not.

And now an eyewitness, famed stuntman Steven Lambert, says it never happened. This 

"Anybody who says otherwise about this story are liars it’s that simple because they weren’t there," said Lambert. "There was two bodyguards which were Steven Seagal’s, there was Steven Seagal, there was Gene LeBell, there was Lincoln Simonds who is stunt guy, and myself. There was six people there. ... Nobody else was there, nobody else experienced it, nobody else saw.  ... Seagal didn’t piss in his pants, he didn’t go into convulsions. But there was a confrontation, it was a difficult physical confrontation, but it didn’t have anything to do with pissing in his pants and or going into convulsions."

"I happened to open the door and I saw Seagal and LeBell, and the two bodyguards talking in front of LeBell’s trailer. We were probably a good 30, 35 feet away and I said, 'Hey Lincoln, LeBell’s talking to Seagal, let’s go see if we can join in,' you know just innocently. So I jump down and I start walking over and Lincoln is about ten feet back of me, jumps down, and we start walking over we get there and they’re just having a simple conversation in front of each other.

"It’s Seagal and the two bodyguards are on each side of them ... and they’re talking about moves and introducing themselves, being casual and entertaining and everything’s light. They start talking about different techniques, and they’re talking about a chokehold, and Seagal starts the conversation. He goes I see the way you do your choke holds, and he was disagreeing on the way that LeBell would do it, and LeBell said, 'Well let me explain to you how I do it.'

"When you work with somebody, a master, a black belt you know even somebody that is a white belt, when you’re working with somebody, when you’re showing somebody, it’s an automatic, known-fact rule, that you go slow. You’re having a conversation, you’re teaching, you’re showing, you’re expressing your movement, and that’s just what LeBell was doing, in slow motion.

"He walks around Seagal and he’s in back of him, facing his back, and Seagal's kind of looking over. We see the the two bodyguards looking, and Lincoln and I are kind of we’re in back of one side. and back of LaBell, watching, very innocent. LeBell starts to put his hands around [Seagal] and very slow, just as I’m moving right, and the minute his hands go around Seagal’s neck, before he even touched them, grazed them, Seagal just side steps full blast, and forearms down right in [LeBell's] crotch. 

"That’s crazy. I mean like if I told you if I spread my legs and I said hit me in a crotch with your forearm as hard as you can, that’s what Seagal did. And LeBell jumped up like three feet in the air, and I see LeBell’s face and and it’s literally three feet in the air.

The moment [LeBell's] toes touched the ground, he just sidestepped and spun his hand around the front of Seagal’s neck, and took his leg and put it in back of Seagal’s feet and just threw his arm back and threw his leg forward, LeBell that is, and Seagal went flying about four feet high and landed right on his butt and back hard. Ouch. The bodyguards looked at LeBell, and I looked at Seagal, and I looked at Lincoln, and everything is in slow motion, and Lincoln’s mouth was open, and my mouth was open.

"I was shocked because that was full blast until then. The bodyguards they looked at Seagal, they looked at LeBell, and I’m watching this happen - a matter of a split second - and I’m thinking 'Oh my god here comes a huge fight.' Because I’m thinking the bodyguards are looking at LeBell, and the bodyguards look back at Seagal, and I look back at Seagal, and Seagal shakes his head like a no. The minute Seagal did that with his head, the bodyguards stood down, because they were like almost in reaction mode, confrontation reaction mode. Like I said, this happened in a matter of moments. 

"The minute LeBell felt everything was easing up, he stuck out his hand and said, 'But if I did that let me show you what you could do,' and helped him up. I was scared that something else was going to go on, so I ran to get the stunt coordinator Conrad Palmisano. He was busy with sending camera, so I’m back at him, and he had producers, directors, the DP, everybody listening to him. So I’m in back, and I’m waiting for the right moment, because you can’t just barge in - you don’t want people to know, you don’t want to make a big thing out of this right? So I go in back of him waiting for the right moment and I kind of leaned to his ear and I said, 'Conrad, there’s a confrontation with Seagal and LeBell at base camp, you better get over here and break it up.' 

"Well he didn’t understand what I was saying, so he ignored me, and I’m just looking and he’s continuing with his camera work. So I walk away kind of hesitant, five ten feet away, and all of a sudden he pops up and he realizes what’s going on, and he runs over there and he yells to LeBell before he even gets over there. He’s like 40 feet away - 'LeBell, get back to your trailer.' 

"LeBell looks at him and goes right back to his trailer and that was the end of that. That’s what happened. Now who told, who got it out, who spread it out, I know I didn’t. I know Lincoln didn't, at least I believe Lincoln. I don’t know if the bodyguards did it. I don’t know if Seagal did it, leaked it out. I don’t know if Gene LeBell leaked it out. Gene LeBell, I love him; you see how close Gene LeBell and I are in the movie? But Gene LeBell is a showman, right? I don’t think he would tell a lie. 

"I think that lie, that rumor. that part of it pissing in his pants, and going convulsions, I think it was spread by somebody else, somebody who was writing the story, you know, somebody to somebody to somebody. But I believe LeBell would never say what was said to the magazines, and all that, if I had to guess. Also let me say I feel horrible for Steven Seagal - he deserved it, what he got, because he started it. But the after occurrence all these years later was brutal.

"I’ve seen Gene LeBell many times, he’s read my story; he says that’s exactly what happened. If you put Gene LeBell and I together on an interview, and I look at him and I say, 'Gene isn’t that exactly what happened?' He’ll tell you that’s exactly what happened. ... We’ve discussed this already, I’ve teased him, he tells me that he didn’t say that, somebody else said that. He can’t figure out [who] but he’ll play with you if you interview him. He’ll play with you because Gene is a showman.

"It’s [Seagal’s] fault. I feel bad for him. It’s brutal because it’s carried on this long. But if he would have admitted it in a playful way with respect, at the beginning, or in the middle, or even now, it would go away. A couple of people have called me and asked, 'What what do you think would happen if we got them together?' And I said, 'Well, I’m sure Gene would come.'

"Seagal’s got to get off his high horse, and the trick is is to make it funny, make it funny when they meet, because I’m sure LeBell would make it funny - 'Come here Steven, you know your ball shot made me fly in the sky, how’d you like me putting you on your back?' 'You know LeBell, you’re one of the few that has ever put me on my back, I congratulate you for that.' It could be humorous and it would all go away - that’d be great if that played out. 

"I’ve suggested that to a few interviewers that have called me up privately and Seagal refuses to do that. So I think our interview is basically the only one with one of the witnesses that’s going to be out there. You did interviews with Palmisano and Balicki and Seagal, where you were telling the story, but it sounded like they wanted to like bad mouth Gene LeBell, and kind of turn it into that.

"The only thing I will say on this video is that Seagal did not pee in his pants, and he did not go into convulsions. That’s all I’m here to say, because Conrad Palmisano asked me, a friend of mine, and that’s all I’m gonna say. My name is Steve lambert. I’m here to say that in the Seagal-LeBell confrontation, Seagal did not piss in his pants or go into convulsions. End the story. I was there and I explained it."

"I can’t reiterate this more - anybody who says otherwise about this story are liars. It’s that simple because they weren’t there, the producers. the directors, whoever, only the six were there, nobody else saw."

LINK

So, finally, from an eyewitness, what is apparently the truth - Seagal did not dump in his drawers, but did got dumped on his back.

So what do YOU think? Click and share your thoughts about Steven Seagal on The StreetGround forum at MixedMartialArts.com.