Remember that time when multimillionaire John Castle allegedly got so angry at a waiter that he broke his finger in a senseless act of rage? It seemed like just another incident in which a server was mistreated by some rich person with a superiority complex. But there may be more to the story.
Castle has countersued waiter Paul Kucik for defamation and has begun a publicity campaign to claim that his name has been smeared and that the story was bogus.
Kucik, a 57-year-old waiter at Club Collette in Palm Beach, claimed Castle was infuriated simply because he brought the check to the table as
Castle's wife, Marianne, had requested. Kucik said Castle called him
"schmuck" and squeezed
his hand so hard that his left ring finger
snapped. He sued the CEO of Castle Harland, a private equity firm for
$15,000. If the claim didn't make a dent on the rich man's pocket, it
may have taken a toll on his reputation, considering all the publicity it
In his countersuit, the 65-year-old Castle claims four witnesses sitting a few feet away provided affidavits
testifying that he did not touch Kucik's hand, much less injure him.
Paul Rampell, one of Castle's attorneys (who also happens to represent
Donald Trump), said that the waiter's claim is a financial shakedown and
that the injury is certainly not his client's fault. That is, if there
even is an injury.
A news release sent out on Castle's behalf also claims the waiter has a spotty
criminal background. According to the release: Kucik, who used to work as a
stockbroker, spent five months in jail in 1999 for committing
securities, wire, and mail fraud. Kucik, the news release claims, was also arrested
in Miami Beach for masturbating in public.
Kucik is not only
suing Castle for at least $15,000 to pay for the damaged finger; he also
filed a worker compensation claim for the same alleged injury.
"We have not seen any medical records that show his finger has even been broken," Rampell said.
hired New York public relations consultant Brian Rusk to try to repair
his reputation after the incident. Rusk said his client is an "honest,
self-made" man who deserves a shot at telling his side of the story. "I
think this whole thing is such nonsense," he said. "I think you have to
show the other side. You can't allow [Kucik] to get away with another
Kucik could not be reached for comment.