LOS ANGELES — Lawyers for NBA star Derrick Rose and two friends accused of raping an incapacitated woman doubled down Wednesday on their assertions that the accuser willingly had sex with the trio, saying she performed sex acts on the men earlier that night at Rose’s mansion in Beverly Hills.
In sharp contrast to the opening statement in the civil case from the woman’s lawyer who called the incident a “classic gang rape,” the defense described an August 2013 scene for jurors in Los Angeles federal court that sounded like a porn movie.
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.”
The woman’s lawyer 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. He said the three got into her apartment in the early morning hours after she passed out from drinking and raped her while she faded in and out of consciousness.
“The plaintiff will tell you all three men were in the bedroom at the same time,” attorney Waukeen McCoy said. “Each of them took turns raping her, they don’t even know who went first.”
As the incident was graphically described and jurors looked on with pained expressions, 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 doesn’t identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault.
The jury of six women and two men will have to decide if the accuser consented to sex or was too intoxicated from either alcohol or drugs to give consent.
They 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, 28, 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.
Rose, who was not in court after Tuesday’s preseason opener in Houston but expected to be present Thursday, had shown no remorse and told New York Knicks President Phil Jackson that he’d lost no sleep over the matter, McCoy said.
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.”