In an apparent case of bad blood between old friends that puts Will Ferrell’s “Talladega Nights” to shame, an Alabama mayor was attacked Saturday allegedly by the baseball bat-wielding former co-host of his TV show over a supposed sex tape.
Police in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, on Monday charged Benny J. Green, 71, with first-degree assault, according to AL.com. Green used to co-host Talladega Mayor Larry Barton’s program “In The Interest of The People.”
Police said Green allegedly attacked Barton, 74, with a baseball bat just before 8 a.m. Saturday outside a barber shop where the mayor works, according to AL.com. Police declined to suggest a motive for the attack.
A former attorney for Green, Steven Springer, said he believes his ex-client went after Barton because of a videotape that shows the mayor having sex with Green’s wife, Charlotte, whom Green is divorcing.
Springer told The Daily Home newspaper that Green set up a video camera in the back of a Talladega liquor store that his wife owns. Springer told the newspaper he saw part of a tape he believes was filmed there prior to the start of the Greens’ divorce proceedings in 2013, adding that there is “absolutely no question” the two people shown in the tape are Barton and Charlotte Green.
What is shown in the tape “gives me hope for when I’m 70,” Springer told The Daily Home.
Barton maintained in interviews with local media that he was never involved with Green’s wife. The mayor also suggested his former TV co-host may have fabricated the alleged sex tape.
“I do know that it’s illegal to videotape someone without their permission, and I know that Benny is a master Photoshopper,” he told The Daily Home. “He can do lots of things with a computer … If there is a tape, I will comment on it if I ever see it.”
Barton’s attorney, Gene Rutledge, told local TV station WBRC that he thinks the attack was about the city’s upcoming municipal elections and not any alleged affair between the mayor and Green’s wife.
“I think that all this has to do with the election, which is going to take place in two weeks,” Rutledge told the news station. “I don’t believe a word of it, that [Barton] did anything with Ms. Green that brought this situation about.”
Barton is running for his fifth term overall as Talladega mayor. He was elected mayor in 2011, after being convicted of defrauding the city in 1995 and serving three years in prison.