LOS ANGELES (AP) — A woman who says Derrick Rose and two friends gang-raped her wept quietly in court as her lawyer provided jurors with lurid descriptions but the NBA star’s defense fired back by portraying the encounter as something from a porn film, not a horror movie.
Opening statements began Wednesday in the woman’s $21.5 million federal court lawsuit, which claims she was either drugged or had drunkenly passed out before the sexual encounters at her apartment in August 2013.
She was the victim of a “classic gang rape” by a man — Rose — who has never shown remorse and told New York Knicks President Phil Jackson that he’d lost no sleep over the matter, attorney Waukeen McCoy said.
Rose, 28, didn’t appear for the start of trial — he was in Houston a day earlier for the Knicks’ preseason opener — but he was expected in court Thursday.
The six women and two men empaneled as jurors on Wednesday found themselves listening to play-by-play descriptions of the encounter.
But they had pained expressions as the woman’s lawyer provided a graphic description of what he described as a callous assault as she faded in and out of consciousness.
“The plaintiff will tell you all three men were in the bedroom at the same time,” McCoy said. “Each of them took turns raping her, they don’t even know who went first.”
As he spoke, the 30-year-old woman leaned forward so her long dark hair covered her face and dabbed at her eyes with tissues.
The Associated Press is not naming her because it generally does identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault.
No criminal charges have been filed against Rose but Los Angeles police continue to investigate.
In sharp contrast to McCoy’s statement, defense lawyers doubled down on their assertions that the accuser willingly had sex with the trio at Rose’s mansion in Beverly Hills.
They said the woman gave lap dances earlier under a sky full of stars by the side of Rose’s pool overlooking city lights, performed oral sex on Rose and had sex with his two friends before inviting them back to her apartment.
“There was no gang rape,” attorney Mike Monico said. “There was no rape at all.”
McCoy said the story about her having sex earlier in the night was falsely concocted to try to show she was insatiable and wanted to have sex with the men later that night.
Jurors will have to rely primarily on her word against that of Rose and the other two men, Ryan Allen and Randall Hampton. There is no physical evidence because the woman was not examined by a doctor afterward and did not report the rape to police for two years — after filing the $21 million suit.
McCoy said the woman was too embarrassed to initially report the incident.
After sex, Rose took his condom, put it back in the wrapper and took it with him “like he was never there,” McCoy said.
NBA players are instructed to flush their condoms down the toilet or take them so women can’t use the sperm to impregnate themselves, Rose’s lawyer said.
Rose was traded to the New York Knicks this season after spending his previous seven years in his native Chicago with the Bulls. He’s in the final year of a five-year deal that will pay him $21.3 million, almost identical to what the plaintiff is seeking.
“It’s a sad effort to get a lottery hit,” attorney Mark Baute said of the lawsuit.
The defense will focus on the many text messages the woman exchanged with Rose, whom she dated on and off for nearly two years. The lawyers said the messages showed she was lucid and not intoxicated after returning home from Rose’s mansion. They denied she was ever drugged.
The two were split up when she texted Rose out of the blue the morning of Aug. 26 to say he makes her “horny.”
Rose replied by asking what she was doing that night and suggested she bring a friend over for a threesome. She rejected that idea, but agreed to bring a friend over later for drinks.
A clip from a deposition taken of Rose was played in which he was asked if there was anything in the text messages that led him to believe the plaintiff wanted to have sex with him and two friends that night.
He said, “No.”
In a later clip, he was asked if he understood what consent means.
He also answered, “No.”