Derrick Rose appears in court as woman testifies against him in rape lawsuit

ESPN logo
Friday, October 7, 2016

LOS ANGELES -- A woman accusing NBA star Derrick Rose and two friends of gang rape testified Thursday in the civil trial of her $21.5 million lawsuit against the New York Knicks player, who appeared in court for the first time.

When Rose entered the courtroom, the woman paused and cried while being questioned by her attorney about what happened on a night in August 2013.

The trial is scheduled to resume Tuesday in Los Angeles.

Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said on Thursday that it's unclear whether Rose will miss preseason games while he attends the trial. Rose is expected to be in Los Angeles on Friday, and the Knicks play preseason games in New York on Saturday and Monday.

The woman on Thursday testified that she went to Rose's rented Beverly Hills mansion for drinks and got very drunk. She said she felt as if she had been drugged and does not remember much about the mansion or the evening.

She said she drank before going to the mansion, then had three or more shots of tequila after she got there.

"I just felt I was less in control, more goofy," she said, adding that she had previously had tequila with Rose and felt as if it gave her strength. "This was the opposite."

The woman testified that when she got home to her apartment, she vomited and passed out on her bed. Her lawsuit says the three men came to her apartment and raped her.

During a break in testimony, a lawyer for the two friends objected to the woman's amount of crying and asked the judge to order her not to cry.

"I'm not going to order the witness not to cry any more than I'm going to order her not to breathe," said U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald, adding he was unaware of courts that have ordered witnesses not to cry.

No criminal charges have been filed against Rose or the other men, Ryan Allen and Randall Hampton, but Los Angeles police continue to investigate.

Rose, 28, didn't appear in court during jury selection earlier in the week or when attorneys made opening statements Wednesday to the panel of six women and two men.

During opening statements, the woman wept quietly as her lawyer provided jurors with lurid descriptions. Rose's defense fired back by portraying the encounter as something from a porn film, not a horror movie.

"The plaintiff will tell you all three men were in the bedroom at the same time," said her attorney, Waukeen McCoy. "Each of them took turns raping her; they don't even know who went first."

In sharp contrast to McCoy's statement, defense lawyers doubled down on their assertions that the woman willingly had sex with the trio at Rose's mansion in Beverly Hills.

They used a string of text messages as a timeline to question the woman's story and whether she even drank enough to black out hours later. And they questioned how she had managed to send lucid text messages during that period -- several of which invited Rose to her apartment.

"Whether you claim you were blacking out or not, you were using periods and sentences,'' attorney Mark Baute said. "I don't usually text like that,'' she replied.

They said the woman gave lap dances earlier, performed oral sex on Rose and had sex with his 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 evaluating her word against that of Rose, Allen and Hampton. There is no physical evidence because the woman was not examined by a doctor afterward and did not report the alleged rape to police for two years -- after filing the suit.

McCoy said the woman was initially too embarrassed to report the incident.

After having 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 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.

ESPN Staff Writer Ian Begley and The Associated Press contributed to this report.