A hologram producer admitted Thursday that he has been smoking marijuana regularly since trial started in a sexual harassment suit filed by a former employee, but said he has not consumed alcohol for 30 years.
Alki David did not directly answer attorney Lisa Bloom’s initial questions as to if he was under the influence of marijuana as she was questioning him in the Los Angeles Superior Court trial of the lawsuit brought by plaintiff Elizabeth Taylor.
He also refused to respond to her inquiry about whether he had an impulse-control problem, but did say he was angry.
David also said that while he personally thought a pornographic clip of two women that he showed Taylor in the workplace was “terrible,” he called the entire video “pop culture at its finest.”
Taylor testified she experienced concussions before she went to work for David in January 2015, preventing her from having a wrestling career, although she said she was able to escort male wrestlers into the ring.
Asked by Bloom if he knew Taylor had psychological issues when she came to work for him, the 51-year-old David replied, “I didn’t know she had mental issues, I assumed she was crazy.”
During the course of the trial, Bloom has complained of unwanted touching of her by David, some of them alleging occurring at sidebar conferences with Judge Christopher Lui. At one point when David was leaving the witness stand Thursday, he hesitated returning to the counsel table, saying of Bloom, “I want to avoid the evil witch over here.”
Lui — who fined David $2,000 on Wednesday for what the judge said were repeated violations of court orders to stop lashing out at Bloom and Taylor, to cease interrupting the judge and to avoid using profanity — scheduled another such hearing for Friday morning. The judge said he wants David to explain why he allegedly ignored the judge’s directive not to talk about excluded evidence before the jury.
Earlier Thursday, David engaged in an often acrimonious cross-examination of Taylor.
“I wish that you could see how I feel,” an angry Alki David told Taylor.
“I wish that you could see how I feel, too,” the 32-year-old woman replied.
David is representing himself and is therefore entitled to personally question his accuser. Lawyer Ellyn Garofalo, on behalf of David’s companies, completed her cross-examination of Taylor earlier Thursday.
Some of the most intense exchanges came during objections to David’s questions by another of Taylor’s attorneys, Arick Fudali, who told the judge that his client is “legitimately scared of Mr. David.”
David repeatedly told Fudali before the lawyer could finish his objections to sit down and stop interrupting him. David’s remarks to Fudali brought a rebuke from the judge, who issued warnings to David again during a recess. The interactions between David, Taylor and her lawyers also drew sighs from the court reporter, who appeared exasperated while trying to make an accurate record with more than one person speaking.
David also had a brief exchange with members of Bloom’s firm in the gallery, prompting lawyer Alan Goldstein to tell the judge, “He called me a (epithet) idiot.”
During another interaction with the Bloom staff, David told them, “This is such a sordid little game you horrible people do.”
For her part, Taylor left no doubt about her feelings toward David both as his employee and currently.
“I was scared and terrified of you, just like I am now,” Taylor said.
Taylor repeatedly objected to answering David’s inquiries into where she currently resides. When asked, she said only that her studio apartment is in Los Angeles and that her mother took out a mortgage on her home to pay her daughter’s rent.
“I just don’t want him to know where I live,” Taylor said.
Her answer prompted a mocking reply by David.
“Come on, don’t be ridiculous,” he said.
David also asked Taylor if she had sued other people. Taylor replied that she had not.
“I have never taken personal legal action against anyone except you,” Taylor testified.
At one point, a flustered Taylor answered a question posed to her by David by saying, “Mr. David, I think you’re making a mockery of what happened to me.”
Just before she was about to be asked additional questions by Garofalo, Taylor said she believed she was having a panic attack, prompting the judge to hold a lengthy recess before inquiries of the plaintiff resumed.
Taylor, who worked for David’s companies Hologram USA and FilmOnTV, previously testified that he once picked her up by the ankles and walked her upside down around the office, exposing her underwear.
Taylor said she was hired in January 2015 and fired that June.
Taylor was a witness in the separate trial in April of co-plaintiff Chasity Jones’ case against David. Jones was awarded $11 million in compensatory and punitive damages. She alleged she was fired for refusing to have sex with David.
David was behind the hologram technology that brought slain rapper Tupac Shakur to Coachella in 2012 and saw the late Michael Jackson moonwalk at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards. The fine imposed on him Wednesday by the judge was for what Lui said were the defendant’s repeated violations of court orders to cease lashing out at Taylor and Bloom, to stop interrupting the judge and to cease using profanity.
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