John Wayne’s Daughter, Friend Beaten by Gunmen

Times Staff Writer

The daughter of the late John Wayne was beaten and her financier companion’s legs were slashed in Newport Beach Monday in what police said was an attack apparently intended as a warning.

Two gunmen were waiting for Aissa Wayne, 32, and Roger Luby, 52, when they drove into his electronically gated Newport Beach estate, Newport Beach police spokesman Greg Armstrong said. The gunmen bound their hands and feet and struck Wayne and Luby in the face, Armstrong said. Luby’s legs were slashed and his Achilles tendons partially severed.

Both he and Wayne were treated and released from Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, Armstrong said.


Pilar Wayne, Aissa’s mother, said that both victims were going through divorces and that Luby “has all these lawsuits against him.” Luby is reportedly involved in litigation regarding the purchase of an old Broadway department store building in downtown Los Angeles.

Aissa Wayne, the eldest daughter of John and Pilar Wayne, told The Times today that one of the attackers said, “You’re messing with the wrong guy. Next time we’ll kill you.”

The couple told police they did not know their attackers. Witnesses said they saw two men near the estate in a pickup truck but no one saw the attack, which occurred in a secluded driveway that leads to Luby’s multimillion-dollar estate, Armstrong said.

The attack lasted only a few minutes and the men fled the scene immediately, he said. Nothing was taken from them.

“The attack appeared to be a warning or message that was being directed at one or both of them,” Armstrong said. “As to what that warning means, I’m not prepared to make a statement on it.”

Wayne is seeking a divorce from her husband, Thomas A. Gionis, an orthopedic surgeon, and Luby is going through a divorce with his wife, “Sassy.”