Lawyer creates ‘Filner headlock’ reenactment for lawsuit

SAN DIEGO — A San Diego lawyer released a computer-generated video reenactment Wednesday of former Mayor Bob Filner placing a long-time city employee in a so-called “Filner headlock” and said he planned to introduce it as evidence in a harassment lawsuit.

Daniel Gilleon said the two-minute video is an accurate depiction of an encounter that his client, Stacy McKenzie, had with Filner at the Clairemont Day at the Bay event at Mission Bay on April 21.

The video shows McKenzie introducing herself the mayor, who asks her if she is married or has a boyfriend. She says no, and he then asks her for her business card and tells her he wants to take her out to lunch.

“Just to make this clear, this is not a business lunch. This is a date. I’m asking you out on a date,” the animated mayor says in the video.

Later, as McKenzie retells the story to some colleagues, the Filner character comes up from behind and puts his arm around her head. “I’m thinking of making her employee of the day,” he says. “Just so you know, I like to get really close to my city employees.”

The Filner character says, “Stacy, you are turning really red.”

“You are really embarrassing me,” the McKenzie character says, and the Filner character lets out a sinister cackle.

Gilleon said he planned to file a lawsuit for $500,000 against the mayor and the city Wednesday afternoon. He said he planned to show the animation to the jury, although he expected Filner’s defense team to fight it.

“The animation helps tell Stacy’s story, but it’s just a starting point,” Gilleon wrote Fox 5 in an email Wednesday.  “For this initial release, we downplayed some of the more severe acts by Filner, such as the initial handlock and the later headlock that included his elbow rubbing her breasts. “

Gilleon said he has been using animation for years in auto accident cases, but it hasn’t been used much for sexual harassment lawsuits.