Food News

Millionaire Countersues, Claiming He Didn't Break Waiter's Finger

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.

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Carolina Fernandez