Illusionist Criss Angel, the star of the "Mindfreak" reality show, freaked out Friday after his girlfriend, Miss Nevada USA Veronica Grabowski, didn't make the finals of the Miss USA pageant.
Shortly after Grabowski was eliminated, Angel was seen flashing a middle finger during a NBC telecast when a roving cameraman attempted a celebrity-in-the-crowd shot at Planet Hollywood Resort's main theater.
Angel was still fuming after the pageant when he threatened this columnist in an F-bomb-laced tirade that ended with Angel, after being restrained, saying, "Don't ever write another word about me, or you'll need an eyepatch over your other eye."
Although he didn't specifically mention it during the loud altercation outside the pageant's VIP party on the hotel's mezzanine, Angel was still angry about my reporting in Friday's column.
In an interview Thursday with Vegas Confidential, Sandy Mecca, a preliminary judge and wife of Planet Hollywood Resort CEO Mike Mecca, mentioned that Angel had brought up his girlfriend in reference to the pageant on Tuesday. Angel told Mecca, "I hope you're going to give my girl high marks."
Mecca's two-day judging duties had ended on Sunday, but the comment made her uncomfortable and she and her husband separated from Angel before entering the hotel.
Angel's publicist, Steve Flynn, said Friday that Angel was "absolutely joking around."
Donald Trump, who owns Miss Universe, the umbrella group for Miss USA, told me Friday that he was disturbed by Angel's encounter with a judge and added, "We're going to have to look at that."
Angel's blowup happened shortly after the pageant ended. Angel, his two brothers and a bodyguard ran down a corridor to catch up to this writer near the entrance of a VIP post-pageant party.
"You're a (bleeping) idiot," screamed Angel, who kept repeating it. He added that he wanted nothing to do with me or this column in the future.
Angel, who starts rehearsals this week on Cirque du Soleil's $100 million magic production at Luxor, has a 10-year contract.
When he repeated his no-contact edict at nose-to-nose range, my response was, "I will try to get over it."
Flynn stepped between us and led Angel away, as he delivered his parting shot: the eyepatch threat.
"Good one, Criss," I told him. "Never heard that one before."