The story of martial arts legend Judo Gene Lebell supposedly choking Steven Seagal until he pooped himself (until Seagal pooped, that is) has been around almost as long as I’ve been alive, and has been covered twice before (here and here) on this very site, most recently when Judo Gene told the story himself. Depending on who you ask, it goes something like this: Seagal had supposedly been bragging about a surefire defense from a choke hold when he and Jude Gene were working together on a movie. Judo Gene tested him on it and it didn’t work out so well (for Seagal, or any bystanders with nostrils). However, Seagal recently spoke with our pal Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour, and in between cryptic allusions to all the special techniques he’s been teaching Anderson Silva, the old poonani lover threw cold water on the old tale, saying the rumors of his defecation have been greatly exaggerated.
“I don’t even know if he is still alive. Is he still alive? I never knew this about him – either he is a pathological liar or he had somebody making up these stories. He came over to my trailer and I was with a guy called Conrad Palmisano who is still a legend, one of the greatest stunt co-ordinators in the history of Hollywood.
“[LeBell and I] were standing there talking about moves and stuff like that and we were just doing some stretching and he was showing me how you can stretch … he wanted to stretch my back and then I kind of flipped over the top of him and said ‘thank you for that.’
So I guess Judo Gene did a Judo throw on him? That’s how I interpreted that, but it’s hard to tell what the hell Steven Seagal is ever talking about.
“There was never any confrontation with him ever. In any way, shape or form. And I swear to god on my children – and they are the most precious thing in my life – if he is saying that he is a pathological scumbag liar. I keep answering that [question]. Either he made up this lie or someone made it up.
“When I first heard it was dumbfounded and so was Conrad Palmisano, who you are welcome to talk to, he was standing right there. He’s probably the most famous stunt co-ordinator in our business and a Vietnam veteran, a great salt of the earth and an honest, upright non-lying man.
There are other people who back up Lebell’s version of the story too, but in the world of stuntmen and martial artists, pretty much everyone seems like a self-aggrandizing BS artist, so who knows.
“Gene Le Bell has never even said anything impolite to me. When he has seen me he has been extremely polite to me and just acted like a friend. I think you know the truth here and everyone else knows the truth and if Gene is saying sh*t like that he should be ashamed of himself.
“And after I heard this I did start to think of some other things he had said, like he said to me he had beat the shit out of Bruce Lee and I started to think well maybe this guy is a pathological liar. He should never make up these kind of sick… you know… It just makes him look like a total asshole. It makes him look like a demented child.”
I’m actually inclined to believe Steven Seagal on this one. It just seems a little too perfect, and I’ve seen a lot of people get choked out on many different occasions and none of them have pooped themselves. It’s a fun story, which is why it keeps coming up, but let’s be honest: we don’t need to believe this story to complete the picture of what a hilariously bizarre creature Steven Seagal is. This isn’t even the tip of the iceberg. He’s an Irish Jew from Fullerton with a ponytail who wears a sleeveless kimono when he plays blues guitar. He also considers himself Russian, kills chickens with a tank, collects ornate saddles, and famously keeps track of neither space nor time. I think we can have plenty of fun with him sticking strictly with the true stuff.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to make unique physiological reaction to arousal jokes. The jury’s still out on that one.
[you can hear the entire interview over at MMAFighting]