“We were right behind Mr. Haberkorn’s family in the line,” Cooke told the New York Daily News, “but they were taking a really long time looking for their tickets, so I — ticket in hand — told his mother, ‘Excuse me, I have to get through.’ She clearly didn’t hear what I said, and immediately screamed at the top of her lungs, ‘She called me a Jew!’ ”
According to Haberkorn, Cooke, who was waiting in the coat-check line behind Haberkorn’s family, said, “Hurry up, Jew. I’ve got places to be.” A confrontation ensued that left Haberkorn, a personal-injury attorney from San Francisco, bloodied by Cooke’s $300 Lulu Guinness mirrored Perspex clutch.
Cooke told the Daily News that she “had no idea they were even Jewish.” The heiress added that she was in no way anti-Semitic, telling the paper that her grandmother was Jewish. “I never said that word, I would never say that to anyone,” continued Cooke, whose alleged crime is being investigated by NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force.
In her counterclaim against Haberkorn, Cooke alleges that she was, in fact, the victim. Though she admitted to clocking Haberkorn with her purse, she said the move was in self-defense. Haberkorn, according to Cooke, was “in a rage” and tried to push her boyfriend.
“I was defending my boyfriend, I was frightened, I was scared, but I never intended to hurt Mr. Haberkorn,” insisted Cooke, who said she suffered a broken finger in the resulting shoving match.
Cooke claimed that Haberkorn’s motive in pressing charges against her is financial, telling the Daily News that the attorney saw “dollar signs” after looking up her name.
“He assumed I was a billionaire, which I’m not. I live on a budget like anyone else. I get a monthly allowance, I am not shopping on Madison Avenue. I take the subway, and I am very frugal,” she said. “I am not Paris Hilton.”
According to Haberkorn’s attorney, Andrew T. Miltenberg, no civil suit has been filed in the case, and Haberkorn didn’t know who Cooke was before he pressed charges.
Miltenberg suggested that Cooke “was looking to place blame.”
“She is not sorry, only embarrassed in her social circles,” he said in a statement to the Daily News. “Instead of more half-truths and fabrications, Ms. Kent-Cooke, how about an apology.”