When Rod Stewart Was Sued for Ruining a Fan’s Sex Life
Some guys have all the luck, while others end up in court — and getting divorced — after their wives have a tendon ruptured by a soccer ball Rod Stewart sent flying into the audience at one of his shows.
Michigan resident Patricia Boughton sued Stewart on Nov. 13, 1990, alleging that she sustained injuries stemming from the singer's antics during a 1989 appearance at the Pine Knob Music Theatre near Detroit. According to Boughton's lawsuit, she was left permanently disfigured when Stewart — continuing a popular tradition at his concerts — kicked a soccer ball into the crowd that hit the middle finger of her left hand.
Boughton's distress was shared by her husband Stephen, who added his own claim of "loss of companionship" to the lawsuit, telling reporters that after the injury, it was "very difficult" for the couple to "get into sexual activity." As he put it, "If she hit that hand on something, it was all over."
The Boughtons, who ended up divorcing, ultimately settled for a $17,000 judgment — less than the $75,000 they were originally seeking, and certainly not enough to convince Stewart to stop kicking balls into his concert crowds. He's since been threatened with legal action by a number of fans, including one who said he had difficulty hanging onto his job after having his little finger snapped by the "reckless and stupid" incident, and another who claimed one of Stewart's balls broke his nose.
Despite all the hassle these lawsuits inevitably created, Rod Stewart showed no signs of giving up one of his favorite performing gimmicks: Facing the broken-nose lawsuit in 2014, he quipped to reporters that his concerts were "a contact sport."