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Pop Star Blames Assault on 'Fits'

Kirkorov performing during a staging of the musical “Chicago” in 2003. Igor Tabakov

Filipp Kirkorov, the quintessential Russian pop star of the 1990s, has apologized to a television director he attacked last week and blamed the outburst, which could land him in jail, on an unspecified mental disorder.

"Twice a year I have serious fits when I don't remember anything and am unconscious of my actions," Kirkorov said in his apology to Marina Yablokova, 29, a director of the still-unaired television show “Golden Gramophone.”

"I am actually horrified by this, and it's only now that I understand that I have to undergo serious treatment," Kirkorov, 43, said in the statement posted on his web site Wednesday.

Kirkorov kicked Yablokova and dragged her by the hair on the film set Saturday, venting anger over stage lights that he said were "too bright," news reports said.

Yablokova, who suffered a concussion and multiple bruises, plans to file a lawsuit, her lawyer, Sergei Zhorin, said by telephone.

Zhorin said the apology looked "more like an excuse" to evade criminal responsibility.

He declined to provide his client for comment, saying she would not talk to reporters because she was "embarrassed" of being beaten in front of "many people who knew her."

Yablokova went to a police precinct Wednesday to speak with investigators working on the case, Interfax reported.

Kirkorov's lawyer Tatyana Akimtseva told The Moscow Times that Kirkorov went to a hospital for an examination Tuesday and was waiting for the results.

The only serious illness linked to Kirkorov has been cancer, which killed his mother in 1994. He underwent a check for cancer in 2008, but the results were never made public.

Kirkorov wants to meet Yablokova to apologize in person, but she has refused, Akimtseva said.

The lawyer admitted that the beating took place, but said the story was overblown by unspecified people looking to cash in on the incident. “We won't meet any insane financial claims,” she said, adding that Kirkorov does remember attacking Yablokova.

Some people in the music industry voiced outrage over the incident.

"If you're sick, stay in the hospital," prominent music producer Iosif Prigozhin told The Moscow Times.

"If [Yablokova] were my sister, I'd have waited for Kirkorov outside his house with a club," Prigozhin said.

Kirkorov, who debuted in 1990 and has 13 albums in his discography, is a five-time winner of the World Music Awards, presented to artists with the top worldwide sales for the year.

But his reputation has been damaged by attacks on journalists, most of them women.

In the most widely publicized incident, a court fined him in 2004 for a profane tirade at Rostov-on-Don journalist Irina Aroyan at a news conference. He later apologized to Aroyan, but insulted another journalist who called him for a comment after the hearing in the case.

The list of people Kirkorov has insulted in public also includes the editor of the Sem Dnei tabloid magazine, Vera Orlova; reporter Veronika Kozlova, whom he threatened to choke over a question; and Twitter blogger Yevgeny Grak.

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