LOS ANGELES — A woman who accuses Derrick Rose and two friends of gang rape in a $21.5 million lawsuit became emotional Thursday after the NBA star entered the courtroom for the first time as she testified about how intoxicated she was on the night in question.
“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 Beverly Hills mansion on Aug. 26, 2013, with the disputed incident in the early morning at her apartment, there was a long pause as she wept quietly, hiding her face behind a computer screen on the witness stand.
During a break with the jury out of the courtroom, defense lawyer Michael Monico complained that they couldn’t have her “crying all day” and suggested the judge issue a “no crying” order.
U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald said he’d never heard of such an order and said the defense was welcome to mock her later or say the crying was ridiculous.
“I’m not going to order the witness not to cry any more than I’m going to order her not to breathe,” 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.
The woman testified until a lunchtime break about dating Rose on and off over 20 months — a relationship the defense has called “friends with benefits.” She met Rose during the 2011 NBA lockout at a Hollywood nightclub and she saw him dozens of times over nearly two years and thought they had a future together.
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.
Rose sent a car to pick her up at her Los Angeles apartment and it went to the wrong address, so she was delayed in leaving and started drinking vodka at home 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 she wondered if she was drugged.
She only had vague recollections of what happened afterward. She left the house after her friend got in a fight with one of Rose’s friends and vaguely remembered a cabbie helping her up to her apartment. Inside, she vomited and passed out on the bed.
She had little recall after that, only “flashes” that included seeing all three men in her bedroom.
“I recall waking up and seeing them in my room,” she said.
In one of these 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 woke up 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 want to go to the police because she was embarrassed and feared her name would become public and her family would find out.
“I was scared and I was embarrassed and I didn’t want any attention,” she said as she wept in court.
She didn’t tell police until two years later after she filed the lawsuit.