I have spent the past week attempting to begin the following article, but the subject at hand hasn’t slowed down long enough for me to gather all the facts. It’s almost funny how in a time when everyone is more obsessed with celebrity than ever that the following story hasn’t been hitting headlines with the intensity of most trainwrecks, but it has become evident that Katt Williams is either in trouble or in need of help, possibly both, and it’s lead to some of the most bizarre incidents in recent memory.
Unless you pay close attention to direct-to-dvd comedy releases and live in the handful of cities he’s deemed worthy of his presence in 2012, it’s likely you’ve gone the majority of 2012 without hearing a word about Katt Williams. That all began to change after an onstage meltdown in November following an arrest in October for allegedly punching his assistant, as well as a second arrest only a few days prior for allegedly attacking an aspiring rapper on his tour bus. The footage from the incident in November, which took place in Oakland, can be found below:
If you do not have eighteen minutes of time to kill, here’s the three main points:
1. Williams walks onstage throwing handfuls of cash at an excited audience before launching into 5 minutes of what he refers to as “freestyling.” During his slurred rap, Williams talks about his money, the low income level of his fans, and how little he cares whether or not the audience enjoys what they have paid to see.
2. Williams eventually turns his punchlines towards specific fans in the audience whom he also dares to jump onstage and attack him. This goes on for a handful of minutes before Suge Knight of Death Row Records appears at Williams’ side and ushers him offstage amidst a hoard of security.
3. Too Short appears shortly after Williams’ exit and explains the comedian’s actions with, “This is what happens when you buy your dope in Oakland.” He goes on to confess that Williams is too messed up to perform, and the show pretty much falls apart. Katt makes one additional appearance, but it’s only after the lights have been risen and people have begun to leave.
The show’s downfall made rounds in comedy circles, but it wasn’t until one fan, 35-year-old Brian Herline, decided to sue Williams and promoter Live Nation seeking unspecified damages for “Katt Williams’ non-performance,” that most sites began picking up the story. Williams and his camp never released a comment.
We saw the video a few days after the performance, but felt one event wasn’t enough to warrant a post and decided to leave it alone. That’s when things got weird.
On November 25, Williams was spotted riding a three-wheeled motorcycle on the sidewalks of Sacramento, Ca. When police approached Williams, he fled, and is quoted as saying “I am not going to stop” to officers in pursuit. He escaped, but as of Thursday (12/6) had a warrant out for his arrest on charges of felony evading police and driving in a reckless manner.
That same night (after evading police), Williams stopped into a Sacramento Target and assaulted an employee. I would expand on that idea by explaining what lead Williams to strike the twenty-something (who was later fired), but neither the victim nor anyone other than Williams knows why the interaction occurred in the first place. He, of course, has yet to comment.
Things only got worse for Katt following his experiences in Sacramento. Last Sunday, December 2, Williams was arrested in Seattle following a bar brawl that ensued in nearby South Lake Union. This was followed on Monday with news Katt was asked to leave his Seattle hotel, which lead to a rather alarming television interview with local news that featured a crying Williams declaring his retirement from stand-up comedy. You can view the aforementioned interview below:
Four days later, Williams’ management spoke with TMZ and announced that Katt was officially un-retiring. Their statement reads:
“Katt is definitely NOT retiring. He will be moving forward with the tour … Friday is Texas, Saturday New Orleans, and on to Alabama.”
“The reason why he made remarks was due to him feeling totally disrespected by all the things that happen to him in the city of Seattle. He had a moment where he felt very unappreciated. He now just wants to move forward from those unfortunate events and give his fans outstanding shows from this point forward.”
Katt, again, released no comment of his own.
It was at this point in the story that I sat down and really began to flesh out this lengthy article. Having been a follower of Williams’ work for years it has become abundantly clear that something is wrong in his life. This is not the same man that gave us The Pimp Chronicles, and he is far from fit for stage appearance. Before I could finish, however, Williams’ troubles grew even worse.
Williams missed his scheduled performance in Houston on Friday, December 4 because he was once again arrested in California following the issuance of a warrant stemming from the three-wheel motorcycle getaway back in November, as well as another for the assault on the Target employee. Williams posted bail Saturday morning, but will have to appear in court in January to face the assault charges. His scheduled performance in New Orleans Saturday night was cancelled.
I had originally hoped to post this story earlier today, but the story once again took an unexpected turn. A number of websites are now reporting that Carlos Castro-Lino has sued Katt, and Seattle Theatre Group, owner of the Paramount Theatre where Williams performed, over claims Williams struck him in the back of his head with a microphone during a November 30 performance. The lawsuit claims Williams “had publicly demonstrated signs of mental instability” and should not have been allowed to perform. He is demanding $250,000 from Williams for “extreme emotional distress” and an equal amount from STG for failing to provide adequate security. The incident in question can be viewed below:
Even now, as I rush to get this post live before another hundred words need to be written to cover yet another arrest or altercation, something tells me Katt Williams’ tale of woe is far from over. If there was anything we as a staff could do to help him, we would, but until that unlikely circumstance presents itself we will continue to wish him the best and hope for even better.
Written by: James Shotwell (Twitter)