Former Atlanta Falcons cheerleader Shayla Stevens has been awarded $6.4 million in damages from Da Brat after a Georgia jury found the rapper liable for attacking Stevens with a bottle of rum in a 2007 Atlanta nightclub incident.
Da Brat, whose real name is Shawntae Harris, served about three years in prison for the crime, and now she is liable for damages from the civil suit filed by Stevens in 2009. A Cobb County jury awarded the ex-Falcons cheerleader and waitress $3.7 million in compensatory damages and $2.7 million in punitive damages, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Thursday.
The jury said Da Brat, 39, was responsible for Stevens’ injuries from the 2007 incident, including permanent facial scarring, neurological impairment and severe mental pain, TMZ reported. The assault occurred at a Halloween party at Studio 72, a club owned by hip-hop mogul Jermaine Dupri.
Da Brat’s attorney, B.J. Bernstein, said he thought the jury’s verdict was excessive.
“I’m baffled,” he told the Journal-Constitution. “She owned up to what happened when it happened and was punished.”
Stevens’ attorney Mark Link disagreed, saying Stevens will have to deal with the injuries for the rest of her life.
“She has a brain injury and is a brain injury survivor,” Link told the Journal-Constitution. “It’s not something that will ever go away. She has a scar on her face. She had so much going for her, and for it come to an abrupt stop because of this attack...”
Bernstein wouldn’t say whether Da Brat is thinking of appealing the jury’s decision. She is still on probation for the assault after spending about three years in Arrendale State Prison.