A civil trial in which Rick Springfield, the 1980s pop music star, is accused of knocking a woman unconscious with his buttocks during a live concert in 2004, opened Tuesday in Syracuse, New York, with the “Jesse’s Girl” singer in the courtroom — but his accuser was nowhere to be found.
Vicki Calcagno, 45, of Liverpool, New York, claims that during a concert at the New York State Fair more than 10 years ago, the former General Hospital star entered the crowd to perform a song. She claims that he stood on a chair then fell off, hitting her with his rear end.
The blow from Springfield’s butt, Calcagno said, knocked her unconscious for 10 minutes. But in 2013, her lawyer said that the time period during which she was dazed or knocked out was probably not that long.
The lawsuit, filed in 2007, first went to trial in Syracuse in 2013, but ended with a judge declaring a mistrial because Calcagno’s lawyer found a new witness just as the trial was about to go to a jury.
On Monday, lawyers for Calcagno and Springfield picked a new jury of six men and two women to hear the case again. Eight-person juries are common in civil lawsuit trials.
The first witness to testify in the new trial Tuesday morning was Springfield’s tour manager during the fateful 2004 performance, Ronald Grinel — who revealed that in 2008, a year after she filed the lawsuit against Rick Springfield, Calcagno hit him up for tickets to another Springfield concert when she testified during a deposition in the case.
In the 2013 trial, Calcagno’s legal team displayed a photograph which they claim was taken by their client just moments before Rick Springfield allegedly fell and struck her with the weapon displayed in the photo — namely, his derriere.
During the 2013 trial, Springfield took the stand and was asked whose buttocks were displayed in the photograph, to which he replied that the buttocks were “possibly mine.”
While Calcagno is expected to testify in the new trial to decide her lawsuit against Rick Springfield, she was absent from court Monday.
Ken Goldblatt, the woman’s lawyer, stated the following, adding that Calcagno was subject to verbal abuse during the original 2013 trial.
“She’s not here because I told her not to come, my decision, so any feelings one way or another about it blame me.”
The Rick Springfield trial will see a jury decide whether the singer was negligent in causing what Calcagno said were serious and lasting injuries from allegedly striking her with his buttocks.