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LOS ANGELES: Houston Rockets star James Harden has been accused of arranging a robbery and beating in a civil lawsuit filed by the son of NBA Hall of Famer Moses Malone, reports said Tuesday.

Moses Malone Jr. claims Harden bore responsibility after he was beaten up and robbed by a group of men outside a Houston strip club in June last year.

Harden, who is not facing criminal charges, denies the allegations.

Malone Jr. claimed Harden arranged the assault in retaliation for a Facebook post in which he criticised the Rockets star for charging $249 for a basketball camp.

Malone Jr. claims in the suit that Harden paid $20,000 to have him beaten up.

The lawsuit said that Malone was attacked on June 25 last year after he arrived at the V Live strip club only to be denied entry by a bouncer, Darian Blount.

Blount is then alleged to have called three other men who confronted Malone during an incident in which a gun was flashed.

The suit said one of the men told Malone Jr. he had "disrespected James Harden and that he needs to be punished after that."

Malone Jr. later told police he was punched and kicked and had $50,000 in jewelry stolen.

Blount was later charged aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon along with three other men -- Kavon Boutte, Deavon Lewis and Oscar Wattell.

Malone Jr. meanwhile said he had seen text message exchanges with people indicating Harden was involved.

"All the stories that we've heard from all the witnesses were pretty consistent that James Harden was pretty upset about the Facebook post that was posted the night before the attack," Malone's attorney, George Farah, told ESPN.

"There were text messages between Moses and some of James Harden's friends. ... We have a good trail of evidence that leads to James Harden's involvement to this."

Harden's attorney, Rusty Hardin, rejected the claims in a statement to Fox television in Houston.

"I am totally comfortable that the allegations (against Harden) are untrue," Hardin said. "Unfortunately, I am afraid this is just another example of people shopping for a deep pocket when they find that the people actually responsible have no money."


Copyright AFP (Agence France-Press), 2017




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