Cesar Millan has denied the allegations that one of his dogs violently attacked people and other dogs. The Dog Whisperer star has been hit with a new lawsuit which claims that his dog badly injured gymnast Lidia Matiss, and even killed another dog owned by Queen Latifah. According to a report by Entertainment Tonight, Millan is denying all of these accounts unequivocally.
Matiss' lawsuit against Millan stems from an incident in 2017, when she visited Millan's training facility. Matiss' mother worked there at the time, and Matiss claims that she arrived to find Millan's personal pit bull Junior "unsupervised and unleashed." In the lawsuit first obtained by TMZ, Matiss explained that Junior bit her leg without warning, and hurt her badly enough to send her to the emergency room. The injury was so "severe" that she was in immense pain, and has since had to stop competing in gymnastics altogether.
The lawsuit lists other alleged attacks as well to back up Matiss' case, all concerning Junior. She wrote that the pit bull attacked several other dogs who were sent to the training facility, including one owned by Queen Latifah who did not survive. She claims that Latifah's dog was "mauled to death," but that Millan instructed the staff to tell her that it was hit by a car.
Matiss is demanding unspecified damages for all this pain and suffering, but Millan is holding his ground. In a public statement published by PEOPLE, a rep for Millan wrote: "This incident occurred over four years ago. Two weeks ago, Ms. Mattiss' counsel sent a letter demanding that Mr. Millan pay her $850,000 — or she would be going 'to the press.' Mr. Millan refused to respond to this threat, and this interview is the result."
"As everyone knows, Cesar Millan is one of the world's most prominent dog training experts," the statement went on. "Over his extraordinary career, Mr. Millan has fostered, and helped — literally — thousands of behaviourally troubled animals dogs — often with dogs at risk of being 'put down.'"
Junior was among those dogs, as Millan explained at length in some of his books and on his YouTube channel. Millan previously had a pit bull named Daddy who aided him in training other dogs on The Dog Whisperer television series, and when Daddy grew old he adopted Junior to "apprentice" under Daddy and learn the same skills. Junior passed away just this summer, and Millan published a video called "A Tribute to My Best Friend (Junior Millan)."
Among Millan's denials of Matiss' case is the claim that she "repeatedly returned to his property and ranch after the incident described," and that the claim about Queen Latifah's dog is "a blatant lie." It is not clear when or if the case will go to court.