(JTA) — The millionaire socialite accused of hitting a Jewish attorney over the head with a glass purse said her comments before the alleged assault were mistaken as anti-Semitic.
Jacqueline Kent Cooke told the New York Post’s Page Six that she did not say “Hurry up, you Jew” as attorney Matthew Haberkorn, 52, of the San Francisco area, his mother, wife and four daughters were collecting their outdoor gear from a coat check after eating at a high-end Manhattan restaurant on New Year’s Eve.
She told Page Six that what she actually said was, “Excuse me I have to get through.”
When Haberkorn confronted Cooke outside over her comments, she reportedly hit him over the head with her glass purse, reportedly a Lulu Guinness Chloe Mirrored Perspex Box Clutch that sells for $300, and pulled him to the ground. He sustained a large cut on his head. Cooke has been described as being very drunk.
Cooke, daughter of the late billionaire and Washington Redskins Jack Kent Cooke, was arrested by New York police on January 3 and charged with second-degree assault in the New Year’s Eve incident.
“We were right behind Mr. Haberkorn’s family in the line, 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,’” Cooke told Page Six. “She clearly didn’t hear what I said, and immediately screamed at the top of her lungs, ‘She called me a Jew!’”
In the report of the incident following interviews with Haberkorn, the Daily News reported that his wife, Linda Thomas, who according to the Daily News is not Jewish, replied: “We all got places to be. You know what? I take total offense at that. You’re small-minded.”
Cooke’s boyfriend got involved, saying “Happy bat mitzvah, girls,” the Daily News reported.
Cooke also told Page Six that her grandmother is Jewish, “so I am 25 percent Jewish.”
She alleged that Haberkorn, a personal injury lawyer, “did a number on me.” She added: “He assumed I was a billionaire, which I’m not.”
The assault is being investigated as a hate crime and no civil lawsuit has been filed.