LeBron’s Mom Facing Battery Charges
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MIAMI BEACH (CBS4) — The mother of Miami Heat superstar LeBron James was released from police custody, and faces charges of battery and disorderly intoxication after an incident at the Fontainebleau Hotel early Thursday morning.
According to the arrest report, Gloria James asked a valet, Sorel Rockefeller, shown here, to get her car for her at the Fontainebleau Thursday before she was arrested.
The arrest reports states the valet then gave the keys to the valet cashier. Police said James then allegedly confronted the employee and said, “where are my *expletive* keys?”
According to to the arrest report, the valet said James then “struck the victim with an open hand across the right side of the face.” Police said that James fell to the ground after losing her balance.
Police said James then became defensive and that she had bloodshot eyes and a “strong odor of alcohol on her breath.”
It was at this point, police said that security employees at the Fontainebleau told officers that the woman was LeBron James’ mother.
In an interview with CBS4′s Peter D’Oench, Rockefeller said, “She said bad words to me. Then she said shut up and she slapped my face. That’s when she fell down on the ground. The reason she was upset was because it was taking awhile to get her car.”
“Did that slap hurt you?” asked D’Oench.
“Yes it did,” said Rockefeller, who went to a doctor’s office on Thursday for a check-up and who plans to see a chiropractor. “This was very bad. You should not slap people in this country. I have been a valet for three years and have been at the Fountainbleau since September. This is the worst thing that’s happened to me.”
“I don’t think people should do things like this,” said Rockefeller. “You have to show people respect. I felt very humiliated from the whole thing. And she kept saying, ‘do you know who I am?’ She said this before she slapped me in the face. I want justice.”
Rockefeller, who came to the U.S. from Haiti, said he is quitting his job as a valet and has hired an attorney and plans to sue Gloria James.
Once she arrived at the station, police said that James remained uncooperative. Police said James told them, “I’m trying to trust you, but I don’t trust your kind.”
She was processed and released to Miami Heat executive Steve Stowe, police said. She left with a promise to appear in court.
“It’s a sensitive subject,” LeBron James said after the Heat’s Thursday practice. “It’s a personal matter. It’s being taken care of.”
It’s not Gloria Jame’s first run-in with the law. In January of 2006, she was arrested in Akron, Ohio for driving while intoxicated and disorderly conduct.
James said the arrest would not harm his focus on helping the Miami Heat win basketball games.
“You have to move forward,” LeBron said. “It is my life and there’s certain things you have to deal with. You try not to let it be a distraction. I have a job to do, still.”
“It’s very sensitive because it’s your mother of course to have an incident, it’s very sensitive. But the people around me are helping me,” LeBron said.
LeBron’s teammate, Heat guard Dwyane Wade, offered his support for LeBron during this time.
“You understand in life things happen, whether you’re in the limelight or not, you’re always going to have family things that’s going to happen and you’re going to have to tend to ‘em and you’re going to have to deal with ‘em,” Wade said, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “And if someone needs you, if you see someone who needs your support, you be there for them.”
Fellow Big Three member Chris Bosh said the incident won’t be a distraction.
“You just move on, you leave personal matters where they’re supposed to be. This is a place for basketball, that’s how we always handle it,” Bosh said.