LOS ANGELES — The night after Derrick Rose and two of his friends had sex with his ex-girlfriend, he had a hunch she was going to claim they raped her, the NBA star testified Tuesday.
Rose said he became suspicious of the woman when she texted later the same day of the alleged early morning attack in August 2013 to say how inebriated she had been and to describe burns she claimed she got on her hands from a fire pit outside his Beverly Hills house. Rose said he believed she was sober and never witnessed any burns the night before.
“It looked like a setup,” Rose said. “It turned out to be what I thought.”
Rose testified for a second day in the $21.5 million lawsuit that claims he and his friends had sex without the woman’s consent when she was incapacitated from drinking and, possibly, drugs. The woman claims the three entered her apartment and had sex with her while she was blacked out after drinking tequila at Rose’s rental house earlier and other booze she had before she got there.
Rose testified he was raised by a single mother, who was his mentor and had taught him to respect women.
When attorney Waukeen McCoy began to ask Rose a question by saying that since his mother had taught him manners, Rose snapped back in a rare display of emotion during an otherwise unflappable matter-of-fact testimony.
“Was that a joke?” he said. “Don’t be playing on my mom like that, bro.”
The central issue in the trial is consent and a lawyer for the woman spent much of his time trying to show that she never agreed to have sex with Rose in the early morning hours of Aug. 27, 2013, not to mention his two friends.
Rose said he assumed consent based on their past, a text message she sent out of the blue that morning saying he made her “horny” and her behavior throughout the day and night.
Attorneys for the woman showed video taken of Rose in June testifying at his deposition in which he said he didn’t understand the word consent.
When asked by his own lawyer, he said he was nervous at the deposition and he defined consent as both parties being in agreement. He said the woman had consented all the previous times they had sex over an 18-20 month period.
The Associated Press is not naming the woman because it generally does not identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault.
Although they had split up a couple months before, he said he took her suggestive text as offering consent.
“No is no. I’m never going to force myself upon anyone,” Rose said. “When she sent me texts like that 99 percent of the time it ended up in sex, so what do you expect?”
The string of text messages the day of Aug. 26 and into early the next morning have been a key feature of the trial, providing a timeline and also helping the woman recreate what she says she blacked out.
Three text messages sent by the woman, which the defense said it didn’t receive until Friday, could get the case tossed out or have it end in mistrial.
U.S. District Court Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald blasted the plaintiff’s lawyer for being “unbelievably careless” producing exhibits.
Rose’s lawyers alleged evidence tampering because messages in their clients’ favor were withheld, including a profane message the woman sent to Rose at 1:36 a.m. in which she referred to him as “babe” and asked why he didn’t have sex with a friend she brought to his house earlier.
The woman’s lawyers said all texts had been disclosed to the defense.
Fitzgerald gave lawyers until Wednesday morning to prove they had been shared with the defense.
A mistrial could push a new trial into the NBA regular season, Fitzgerald said.
Rose said he has permission from New York Knicks President Phil Jackson to miss the next three preseason games until the trial is concluded.
Testimony concluded for the day with Randall Hampton, Rose’s personal assistant and co-defendant, being called to the stand by the woman’s lawyer to show inconsistencies and contradictions in their testimony.
Hampton said his boss has a poor memory and provided a conflicting account about the evening at Rose’s house.
Hampton said the woman had sex with him and Rose at the Beverly Hills house. Rose testified that the woman initiated trying to have oral sex with him while she was having sex with Hampton.
Hampton, however, said Rose initiated that act and then later had sex with the woman on a bed at a poolside cabana.
“He has a hard time remembering things,” Hampton said of Rose, who he said is like a brother to him.
When asked if he was concerned about having sex with Rose’s ex-girlfriend, Hampton said he never saw her as a girlfriend of Rose’s even though he booked trips for her to visit the point guard in Chicago and Philadelphia.
“To have sex,” Hampton said, “that’s what I was booking the flights for.”