NBA star Derrick Rose told a Los Angeles jury Friday that an ex-girlfriend opened the door in her pajamas and led him and two of his friends into her apartment for what he assumed would be a sexual encounter during the early morning hours when she claims she was raped by the men as she lay unconscious in bed.
Taking the stand to defend himself in a $21 million sexual assault lawsuit brought by the woman, the New York Knicks point guard offered a starkly different account of the night than the one the alleged victim repeated for the federal jury during her testimony this week.
Rose portrayed the plaintiff — with whom he said he had a “non-exclusive sexual relationship” for about 18 months after meeting her at a club in 2011 — as sexually aggressive and overly “forceful” during a gathering at his rented Beverly Hills mansion on Aug. 26, 2013.
At some point that night, Rose testified, the woman followed him into his room and “started to grab me and try to kiss me — that’s something I’m not used to.”
“I just don’t like being forced into an issue,” the athlete told the eight-member jury that must decide whether the woman or Rose and co-defendants Randall Hampton and Ryan Allen are telling the truth about the night’s events.
After Allen kicked the woman out of Rose’s room, she returned to the mansion’s backyard and had sex with Hampton, the athlete testified.
In her own testimony, the 30-year-old plaintiff denied having sex with anyone at the Beverly Hills house, telling jurors that she began feeling strange after a shot of tequila.
Details were scarce, she said, because she had begun “blacking out” during the gathering with the three men.
After a couple of hours, both agree a taxi was called to bring the woman home.
Hours later, she contends, Rose, Hampton and Allen somehow entered her apartment uninvited and assaulted her.
She told jurors that when she awoke the next morning, her dress was in a knot around her neck, lubricant was on her legs and a condom lay on the floor.
“I was scared because I didn’t know what happened,” she testified during about eight hours on the stand.
Rose’s attorney, Mark Baute, tried to get the woman to admit that she had invited the men to her home for an encounter, but she answered that she was too “intoxicated” to remember about 20 texts and phone calls exchanged with the three men after getting home and before the alleged assault.
“When I went home, I passed out … blacked out,” she said.
The defendants deny the allegations, claiming the woman invited them to her home and any sexual contact was consensual.
Rose said the three men drove across town to the plaintiff’s apartment near USC after 2 a.m. on Aug. 27, 2013, spending about 25 minutes in the car waiting for her to answer their calls and texts to let them in.
The defendant testified that after their own sex-based relationship and after seeing the woman having sex with Hampton, he believed she wanted to have sex with all three if they were to drive to the apartment. He said all three had brought condoms.
“In my mind she consented every other time (the two of us) had sex, so why wouldn’t she this time,” Rose said on the stand under questioning by the plaintiff’s attorney.
The woman rocked back and forth in her seat during Rose’s testimony, never looking at him, but appearing to become emotional at times.
When the woman finally came to unlock the door to her building, she was wearing “pajamas … and we followed her in,” Rose said.
Rose is expected to continue testifying when the trial resumes Tuesday.
Earlier Friday, the woman told the panel that she didn’t sue for money, suggesting that she wanted to mitigate her “embarrassment” that her ex-lover would allegedly allow his friends to attack her while she was passed out.
The plaintiff spent the morning under questioning from attorneys for the defendants, repeating her testimony that she retains only “flashes” of memory about the alleged assault.
She has been adamant that she never gave Rose, Hampton and Allen consent to have sex with her at her at her home after a night of heavy drinking.
“I did not give them anything,” she said.
Attorneys for the woman allege that the defendants slipped a drug into her tequila drink at the Beverly Hills gathering, then showed up at her apartment hours later after she went home and had sex with her while she was unconscious.
She said Friday that when she woke up, she remembers telling her roommate that “Derrick’s ‘brothers’ raped me.”
“It was embarrassing to tell someone that someone I dated would do that,” she said, crying.
The woman didn’t report the alleged assault to police for two years. Her lawsuit, asking $21 million for emotional distress and other damages, was filed in August 2015.
Although her recollection of the alleged attack appeared fleeting, the woman said she has memory “flashes” of Rose “undressed … at the edge of my bed,” Allen “on top of me” and Hampton also “undressed … near my bed.”
Asked by Baute on Thursday why she did not immediately go to the police with her suspicions the morning after, the woman said she didn’t want to hurt Rose.
“I just didn’t want to be responsible for any outcome,” she replied. “I cared for him and didn’t want to be responsible for something that would be a really bad outcome.”
The Los Angeles Police Department has confirmed it has opened an investigation into the woman’s allegations, but no criminal charges have been filed.
— City News Service