Steven Seagal is widely regarded as one of the greatest action movie tough guys of all time.

The Hollywood hardman made his name in a string of classic films during the 1980s and 90s.

From brandishing guns, swords and baseball bats in Above The Law (1988) to kicking somebody under a moving train in 1995’s Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, Seagal is often seen as the ultimate tough guy.

Much of this reputation comes from his real-life aikido training, which has made him a force to reckoned with.

But his macho persona was called into question after a stuntman allegedly gave Seagal a taste of his own medicine on set.

Seagal, unsurprisingly, recalls a different version of events.

The alleged incident happened during the filming of the 1991 movie Out For Justice, which was produced by and starred Seagal as veteran police detective Gino who sets out to avenge his partner’s murder by killing the culprit.

The stunt co-ordinator for the film was Gene Lebell, who had earned himself the nickname ‘the Godfather of Grappling’ and also the ‘toughest man alive’ because of his long involvement in combat sports.

During filming, Seagal apparently boasted that his aikido training had made him ‘immune’ to being choked unconscious.

One version of the story is that LeBell heard about this claim and wanted to give Seagal a chance to prove his boast.

In what has since become a much disputed story, LeBell is said to have placed his arms around Seagal’s neck. When Seagal said “go", LeBell proceeded to choke the Hollywood star unconscious. Or so it's claimed.

What happened next remains the stuff of Hollywood urban legend as it is also claimed in some quarters that LeBell choked Seagal so vigorously that the 6ft 4ins star lost control of his bowels and soiled himself.

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When asked about the whole incident and claims he soiled himself, Seagal vehemently denied it happened.

He said: "Either he is a pathological liar or he had somebody making up these stories. He came over to my trailer, and he was with a guy named Conrad Palmisano, who is a legend and is still one of the greatest stunt coordinators in the history of Hollywood.

"We were talking about doing moves and stuff like that and we were stretching. He wanted to stretch my back, and I kind of flipped over the top of him and said ‘thank you for that.'

"There was never any confrontation with him, ever. In any way shape or form. I swear to that on my children, which are the most sacred thing in my life on my life.

"If he said that, he's a pathological scumbag liar. I keep answering that. Either he made up this lie or someone made it up."

He even offered the name of a witness who could prove Lebell had made up the story, but it prompted a fiery response from LeBell's trainee, now-WWE wrestler Ronda Rousey, who said Seagal was the one lying.

“If (Seagal) says anything bad about Gene to my face, I'd have to make him crap his pants a second time,” she said.

LeBell was asked to confirm the story publicly in an interview in 2012, but he avoided answering the question, although still implied that the first version was true and that 30 stuntmen and cameramen were watching at the time.

He was quoted as saying: “Sometimes Steven has a tendency to cheese off the wrong people, and you can get hurt doing that. If 30 people are watching, let them talk about it.”

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Stuntman Steven Lambert, who wrote the book ‘From the Streets of Brooklyn to the Halls of Hollywood’, was on the set of Out For Justice.

He says a minor confrontation did occur but not in the way reported.

His version of events claims LeBell put his arm around Seagal’s neck without hurting him because it was supposed to be a demonstration.

Suddenly, Seagal sidestepped, brought his arm in the air and hit LeBell in the crotch. LeBell reacted like nothing happened but fell on the ground.

LeBell still had his arm around Seagal’s neck and his legs behind him and pushed him in the air. Seagal landed on the hard ground and LeBell tried to help him up.

In an interview with YouTuber Viking Samurai, Lambert says that both Seagal and LeBell acted like nothing had happened and that was the end of the confrontation.

So did the Godfather of Grappling make Hollywood’s ultimate hardman soil his pants? The truth may never come out, but then it might be a brave person indeed who poses this delicate question to 7th-dan black belt Seagal.

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