Tennis Channel broadcaster Justin Gimelstob pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a felony battery charge stemming from an alleged Halloween-night attack on a former friend.
Gimelstob, 41, is accused of attacking venture capitalist Randall Kaplan, who was trick-or-treating with his wife and 2-year-old child in West Los Angeles. Gimelstob surrendered to authorities after the alleged attack and was released on $50,000 bail.
The day after the attack, Kaplan went to court to obtain a restraining order against Gimelstob, alleging the former tennis player and doubles champion struck him more than 50 times on the head and face while threatening to kill him.
Although a motive for the alleged attack was unclear, a spokesman for Kaplan told the Associated Press that Gimelstob had previously threatened him because of Kaplan’s friendship with the tennis commentator’s estranged wife.
Following his court appearance Wednesday, Gimelstob posted a statement on his Facebook page, saying he cannot comment in detail about the alleged attack, but saying, “I look forward to presenting the true and complete facts concerning this matter, not only about what really happened that night, but also about the long history of Mr. Kaplan’s behavior and toxic interference in my life.
“This morning I was charged with one count of felony battery. I pled not guilty, and I will now mount a vigorous defense,” he wrote.
Gimelstob’s statement went on to address what he called “unrelated accusations” that have been included in media reports about him “in an attempt to portray me in a negative light.”
He concluded by writing, “The recent passing of my father, the constant litigation over our son, Brandon, and the recent events on the evening of Oct. 31, 2018, have created a very challenging time in my life. I very much appreciate all the love and support I have received from my family, friends and colleagues. It was never my intention to engage or respond to the recent media coverage about me. However, I felt compelled to do so based on the nature of the false allegations and sensationalized stories that continue to be disseminated by those with their own agendas and motives.
“I am far from perfect. I have flaws and have made mistakes in my life; however, I am not the person that has been depicted in the past month. I look forward to working through these challenges,” he wrote.
Gimelstob, who won a 1998 French Open mixed-doubles title with Venus Williams, was ordered Wednesday to stay away from Kaplan, and another court hearing was scheduled for Jan. 31.