New York: Chris Brown’s attorney has said that it was hip hop artist Drake, who started the brawl that turned a SoHo nightclub into a blood-soaked battlefield, saying he has given police evidence that backs up his claim.
According to sources, the hot-headed stars and their entourages fought with fists and bottles over the affections of Rihanna.
“I have turned over evidence that it was Drake who instigated this. The evidence makes it clear that Chris is the victim in all of this,” the New York Post quoted Brown’s attorney, Mark Geragos as saying.
“My client was the victim of a cowardly attack. What sort of people throw bottles and glass?” Geragos added.
Drake, who squired Brown’s former girlfriend Rihanna to last year’s Grammys, had allegedly sent Brown a taunting note about their romance.
“I am f**king the love of your life,” read a note sent from Drake’s table to Brown at about 4 am after Brown ordered his rival’s table a bottle of pricey Armand de Brignac Champagne, commonly known as Ace of Spades, a witness said.
Rihanna, who had also been linked to Drake, was not at the W.i.P. club, where Brown was buying bottles for several tables in the VIP section.
“I saw him tell the waitress to send a bottle to Drake’s table. I then saw a waitress come back with a piece of paper and gave it to Chris,” Ingrid Gutierrez, 21, a model who was sitting at Brown’s table, said.
“He looked upset and just threw it on the floor.”
Drake and a posse that included rapper Meek Mill and all their bodyguards then walked over to the table where a shirtless Brown was seated.
“They were giving him (Brown) the middle finger. They got into each other’s faces and were shouting at each other,” Gutierrez said.
“Chris told Drake to f--k off, and the next thing I could hear is the sound smashed glass and mayhem started.
“Somebody in Drake’s group — I don’t think it was Drake — swung at Chris, but missed.
“Chris didn’t swing back, he just tried to brush them off. He told us, ‘Let’s go,’ but there were bottles flying at us. I saw one bottle was thrown, it looked like a vodka bottle, and hit Chris on the face.
“The anger from Drake’s entourage was terrifying,” she said.
The bloodshed touched off a full-scale brawl in the basement club, where at least five bystanders were injured by flying bottles .
Brown’s bodyguard, Big Pat, suffered a gaping head wound.
W.i.P., connected to the much-larger Greenhouse club, was jammed at the time with a slew of celebrities, including Mary J. Blige, Trey Songz, Wale, Ne-Yo and NBA star Tony Parker.
Brown, 23, suffered a deep gash on his face.
“There was blood gushing out of Chris’ chin,” Gutierrez said.
Brown later tweeted a photo of his wound with the taunt, “How u party with rich n---- that hate? Lol....Throwing bottles like girls? #shameonya!”
Gutierrez was also injured in the fight.
“I was on the couch, covering my face, because I’d been hit on the head by a bottle and my head was bleeding. I thought I was going to die,” she said.
W.i.P.’s floor was left a wasteland of broken glass, spilled booze and blood after the capacity crowd emptied out onto Van Dam and Varick streets.
Once outside, Brown took off his shirt again and stood at a waiting SUV as a member of his entourage cursed and pointed to someone in the crowd, an amateur video posted on YouTube shows.
“Where’s the gun? . . . Get in the f--kin’ truck!” another entourage member seems to be saying.
“Right here, right here,” someone replies.
Brown’s spokesman Jeff Raymond calls the video misleading.
“It is not true. There was no gun,” he said.
NYPD detectives yesterday took copies of surveillance video that captured the brawl. There were at least two police reports filed as cops investigated.
The Canadian-born Drake — whose real name is Aubrey Drake Graham — has declined to speak with police but plans to talk to them in the company of his attorney at a later date, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne ,” he said.