LOS ANGELES (AP) — The ex-girlfriend accusing NBA star Derrick Rose and his friends of rape spent Thursday battling her emotions as she tried to piece together a night she remembers only in “flashes.”
Her vague recall and testimony that contradicted what she told lawyers during her deposition left her vulnerable to combative cross-examination by Rose’s lawyer as the Knicks player looked on with little reaction.
In a soft voice that at times couldn’t be heard by lawyers or jurors, the woman behind the $21.5 million lawsuit said she was intoxicated and felt like she had been drugged after a visit to Rose’s mansion in Beverly Hills in August 2013.
“I’ve never felt like that before,” the 30-year-old said. “I just felt I was less in control, more goofy.”
As she began to connect a night of drinking at Rose’s place on Aug. 26, 2013, with the disputed incident early the next morning at her apartment, she took a long pause in her testimony and wept quietly, hiding her face behind a computer screen at the witness stand.
Defense lawyer Michael Monico complained during a break that they couldn’t have her “crying all day” and suggested the judge issue a “no crying” order.
“I’m not going to order the witness not to cry any more than I’m going to order her not to breathe,” U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald said.
Rose, 28, and his friends Ryan Allen and Randall Hampton have denied the accusations in the lawsuit and claimed the woman willingly had sex with all three.
The Associated Press is not naming the woman because it generally does not identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault.
Rose’s lawyer used a string of text messages as a timeline to question the woman’s story and whether she even drank enough to black out hours later. And he questioned how she had managed to send lucid text messages during that period — several of which invited Rose to her apartment.
“Whether you claim you were blacking out or not, you were using periods and sentences,” attorney Mark Baute said.
“I don’t usually text like that,” she replied.
Baute got her to concede she had lied to Rose in text messages earlier that day about plans she had and a stop at a sex shop she never made.
The woman testified that she began dating Rose on and off over 20 months — a relationship the defense has called “friends with benefits” — after meeting him during the 2011 NBA lockout at a Hollywood nightclub.
She thought they had a future together, though Baute cast doubt on that.
He showed that until that night in August, Rose had never been to her place, she never attended any of his games and during a visit when he was playing in Philadelphia, she never left their hotel.
After they split up in early summer of 2013, she hadn’t been in touch with Rose until the morning of Aug. 26 when she texted him a photo of herself and said he was her “inspiration.”
He invited her over that night by text message and made overtures to bring a friend along for a threesome. She said she would come over for drinks.
While waiting for a driver who was late to pick her up, she said she started drinking vodka because she was nervous. She had some wine in the car and said she had 3½ shots of tequila at the Beverly Hills mansion.
She said she had previously had tequila with Rose and felt like it gave her strength, but “this was the opposite,” and said she felt drugged, a suggestion the defense denies.
She only had vague recollections of what happened afterward. She left the Rose’s after her friend got in a fight with one of his friends and vaguely remembered a cabbie helping her up to her apartment. Inside, she vomited and passed out on the bed.
“I recall waking up and seeing them in my room,” she said of the three men.
In one of her flashes, she said, Rose was at the edge of her bed undressed and pulling her toward him. She was trying to roll off the bed.
“I just felt like I wanted to throw up,” she said.
She said she awoke the next morning with her black dress around her neck, lubricant on her legs and saw a used condom on her bedroom floor. She was confused about what had happened.
She said she didn’t go to the police because she was embarrassed and feared her name would become public and her family would find out.
Baute asked if she didn’t report the incident because she didn’t want to be responsible for inviting someone over to her apartment for sexual intercourse at 3 a.m. and falsely accuse them of rape.
“I never did any of those things,” she said.
She reported the incident to police after filing the lawsuit more than two years later.