Philly dancer sues Britney Spears for allegedly breaking her nose

Dawn Noel, before broken nose.
Dawn Noel, before broken nose.
Posted: May 08, 2014

A PHILLY-born-and-trained dancer is suing Britney Spears and Reign Deer Entertainment for allegedly breaking her nose.

Dawn Noel Pignuola, who dances professionally as Dawn Noel, was hired to work on "Work Bitch," Spears' incessantly catchy single, according to a lawsuit filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Pignuola attended the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts and the University of the Arts, getting her start in the dance world at Philly's Koresh Dance Company. She's toured with Madonna and Jennifer Lopez, and appeared on the TV shows "All My Children" and "Glee."

The suit alleges that last Aug. 19 Pignuola was scheduled to dance in the video when a "disheveled and confused" Spears showed up at the shoot.

After practicing for about a half hour, the suit alleges, "Britney twirled in the unbalanced and reckless manner, arms extended out to her sides, and forcefully backhanded plaintiff Dawn Noel directly in the face." Pignuola heard a crack, allegedly leading to an apology from Spears. Pignuola kept dancing until she "could no longer stand the pain and had to leave to go see a doctor," according to the suit.

Reps from Spears and Reign Deer Entertainment allegedly assured Pignuola that her medical bills would be paid for, but after months of waiting, the suit says, reps for Spears never paid.

"She's been very patient and I don't understand why they wouldn't just do the right thing," said Pignuola's attorney, Sark Ohanian of Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley.

Pignuola seeks damages for battery, negligence and medical expenses.

"It has affected her career. She did an episode of 'NCIS,' and the makeup artist noticed, so it causes her concern," Ohanian said. "She also has issues with breathing and sinuses, which, obviously, if you're dancing there's great concern. There's no union for dancers, like there is with actors, writers or directors, so they don't have the same type of insurance. She isn't looking to get rich off this."

Reign Deer Entertainment did not return a call for comment by press time.

* In other pop-diva news, Lady Gaga's show at the Wells Fargo Center has been moved from May 12 to May 15. The former Stefani Germanotta is switching her Philly and D.C. dates because of a potential Game 6 between the Washington Wizards and the Indiana Pacers.

Happy 'Impossible'

Celeb chef Robert Irvine and part-time Philly resident Marc Summers celebrated the 100th episode of the Summers-produced "Restaurant: Impossible" recently. The landmark ep, filmed at WHYY earlier this year, airs tonight at 10. Irvine is in Philly on the regular, stopping by on Monday as a spokesman for Comcast Business, whispering restaurant secrets to reps from Wawa, Chickie's & Pete's, the Capital Grille and more.

Tony Luke's to the Northeast

Northeast-ers won't have to travel so far down south next time they get a hankering for Tony Luke's cheesesteaks. I hear that a location is opening up at 6716 Frankford Ave., courtesy of baseball agent Brian McCafferty, who is looking at a June opening to coincide with the premiere of Tony Luke Jr.'s new competition reality show on Spike, "Frankenfood," scheduled to bow June 8. Actor Leo Rossi, who has worked with Luke on several films, has been by to check the place out.

Wedding bells

* Radio fans may remember Kim Douglas from WYSP's Barsky Show and other stations, including B101 and Q102. The now-real-estate agent told the Beerman Network that she's recently gotten engaged.

* Former Sexy Single Reggie Berry is no longer so single. The 2009 alum popped the question to Renee Simons.

Big ups to Baer

Congrats to Daily News columnist John Baer, who was honored at the Pyramid Club last night by Common Cause Pennsylvania. Baer took home the Media Award for his lifetime of excellence in reporting on public affairs.


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