TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The daughter of University of Alabama coach Nick Saban told lawyers she was only defending herself from a drunken sorority sister when the two women brawled after a night of partying in 2010, according to written testimony and arguments in court Tuesday.
Court documents show Kristen Saban portrayed one-time best friend Sarah Grimes as the aggressor even though it was Grimes who sued Saban over the altercation, which began over a Facebook post.
While neither woman was in court during a hearing, Grimes’ lawyer filed copies of their sworn testimony in pleadings before Tuscaloosa County Circuit Judge James H. Roberts Jr.
After a hearing, Roberts said he would consider a request by Kristen Saban’s attorneys, Robert Prince and Joshua Hayes, to end the lawsuit with a ruling in her favor.
But Grimes’ attorney, Stephen Strickland, told Roberts jurors should get to hear the dispute. Kristen Saban punched Grimes “like Boom Boom Mancini,” Strickland said, referring to the professional boxer.
“She had the devil beat out of her,” said Strickland.
Both women were members of Phi Mu sorority at Alabama but graduated last year.
While Grimes contends Saban started a fight that ended in Grimes receiving a concussion and needing nasal surgery, the coach’s daughter depicted Grimes as out of control and angry the night they clashed.
Kristen Saban told lawyers that she, Grimes and other friends wound up at Saban’s apartment after several hours of drinking, and everyone was intoxicated. Kristen Saban said she went into her room upset after Grimes told her to quit being “pathetic” about her relationship with a boyfriend.
Grimes began beating on her door after she posted “No one likes Sarah, yay” on Facebook, Saban said, and the confrontation turned physical after Saban opened the door.
While Grimes said the other woman pushed her first, Kristen Saban testified that Grimes initially grabbed her around the neck. The two pulled hair and tussled in a fight that was “a lot of slapping and punching, not many landing, and scratching,” Saban testified.
After the fight, Kristen Saban said she was crying on the floor beside her bed when Grimes came into the room and straddled her.
“She told me to look at her, because I had my hands over my eyes crying. She said, ‘We can’t do this to each other. We’re best friends,” Kristen Saban said.
“And then what happened?” asked a lawyer, according to a transcript of the testimony.
“I said, ‘You came at my throat. You came at my throat.’ And she said, ‘We can’t do this, we need to talk about this, but I need to go to the hospital to document this,”’ Kristen Saban said.
Grimes filed suit against Kristen Saban in 2012 seeking an unspecified amount of money for the fight. Neither Nick Saban nor wife Terry Saban is directly involved in the case.
Before the fight, documents show, Grimes and Saban had been at odds because the coach’s daughter didn’t invite Grimes to a workout in the Crimson Tide football facility or the premiere of a movie about the coach. Talks involving the coach’s wife after the fracas failed to avert a suit, records show.
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