Celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak sued for punchout over private hoops courtPosted: August 8, 2012
Five Factor Diet guru took anger-management class after bust for ‘spanking’ two men using court, but now faces lawsuit over beating called ‘malicious, outrageous, offensive and intentional’
BY BARBARA ROSS / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 8, 2012, 6:00 AM
Harley Pasternak on the ABC show “The Revolution” on how to make a salad.
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Celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak — who has helped sculpt the curves on A-listers from Lady Gaga to Jennifer Hudson — may want to add calming yoga to his workout regime.
The diet and fitness guru, who hosted ABC-TV’s defunct talkshow “The Revolution” and is now a spokesman for New Balance and Coca Cola, was busted for punching two Manhattan men in a squabble over a basketball court, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Pasternak took a deal that forced him to sit through an anger-management class in exchange for making the misdemeanor assault charges from the January attack disappear. If he stays out of trouble, the criminal case will be dismissed.
But now he’s got new legal woes.
The men Pasternak socked are suing him, claiming the attack was “malicious, outrageous, offensive and intentional.”
Pasternak, who has built a national reputation for his Five Factor Diet, could not be reached for comment. His attorney, Eric Arnone, declined to comment.
The trouble started about 7:45 p.m. Jan. 29 when Matthew Spritz, a lawyer, and Michael Berro, an exec with a tobacco wholesaler, were shooting hoops in a private gym in Berro’s building on W. 24th St. when Pasternak interrupted to ask when the gym would be free, the lawsuit states.
Pasternak left but returned a half-hour later and “began to hurl insults” at Berro, a 5-foot-six-inch, 140-pound man who was dwarfed by Pasternak’s 6-foot, 220-pound frame, Spritz said.
Spritz moved to defend Berro, but Pasternak shoved a camera phone in his face, announcing he wanted Spritz’ picture to get him barred from the building where Berro owns his apartment and Pasternak was renting a unit with his wife, the lawsuit states.
When Spritz pushed the phone away, Pasternak smashed him in the jaw with a closed fist. Berro intervened and Pasternak slammed him in the nose, too, according to the lawsuit.
More than a dozen witnesses ran to separate the men as Pasaternak hurled insults: “Nice face. Want to go again?” and “Yeah, that’s right, I just spanked you guys,” according to the lawsuit.
Both men have had hefty medical and dental bills, according to court papers.
Building concierge Leo Frias said Pasternak, who was under court order to stay away from the two men, moved out about two months ago after living there only six months.
“He was a low-key guy — one of my favorite residents,” Frias said. “It’s an unfortunate thing.”
The lawsuit is just the latest setback for Pasternak, whose clients include Hillary Duff, Katy Perry, Halle Berry and Jessica Simpson. This summer, ABC-TV cancelled “The Revolution,” a daytime lifestyles talk show that he co-hosted.
Frias said building managers have a zero-tolerance policy for nonsense and expect residents to “respect the staff, the people here, the whole environment.
“ If they don’t, they’re checked on the spot.”
With Linda Kinstler and Janon Fisher