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Singer Johnny Mathis Slugged in Vegas

Mar. 23, 1963 - Singer Johnny Mathis, 27, ran away from a Las Vegas hotel because “he was frightened and scared” after a card dealer slugged him, his manager said today. Mrs. Helen Noga of Beverly Hills said Mathis was at her home, but she refused to let reporters see him or talk to him. Mathis showed up at her Beverly Hills home at 8 p.m. last night after fleeing from the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas at 5 a.m. Thursday, Mrs. Noga said. Before arriving at Mrs. Noga’s home, the singer had taken an airliner to Los Angeles and registered at a motel. Charles Walsh, a Las Vegas dealer, said he knocked out Mathis with one punch because the singer had insulted his wife Helen, a cocktail waitress. Mathis denied insulting Mrs. Walsh and said the attack was unprovoked, Mrs. Noga said. “Johnny is not a fighter,” she said. “He is a singer.” She said Mathis pleaded with Walsh not to hit him because he has a spinal condition and could be seriously injured by the slightest blow. Mrs. Noga said he planned no legal action, adding: “I hope this thing blows away real fast.”


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