October 04, 2016 - 11:37 AM
LOS ANGELES - Potential jurors in a $21 million rape lawsuit against NBA star Derrick Rose filled out questionnaires Tuesday asking them what they have heard about the case, what their favourite basketball team is and whether they can set aside their own sexual morals and biases.
Rose was not in the Los Angeles courtroom on the same day the New York Knicks' preseason begins in Houston. But his two friends and the woman the trio are accused of gang-raping appeared for the start of jury selection.
Rose and the woman, identified so far only as Jane Doe, had dated on and off in the two years prior to the August 2013 incident at her apartment. Rose and his friends denied the allegations and said the sex was consensual.
"I feel like I'm innocent, and I feel like I didn't do anything wrong," Rose told reporters two weeks ago.
In addition to overshadowing Rose's attempts to bounce back from injuries that sidelined him the past few seasons, the case threatens to expose details of his sex life, including text messages discussing his desire to have group sex.
The woman said she had been drinking vodka, tequila and wine before returning from a house that Rose rented in Beverly Hills and passing out in her apartment. She said Rose and his friends, Randall Hampton and Ryan Allen, let themselves in to her apartment in the early morning and raped her.
She said she was confused when she woke up the next morning with her dress over her head and a saw used condom on the floor.
"I felt just dirty," she told The Associated Press. "I didn't want to believe it was true."
The woman claimed she was drugged. Rose's lawyers said there's no evidence of any drugs.
Rose's lawyers said she let the trio in through two locked doors and was alert and cleaned up after sex. They say the woman is hiding behind a cloak of anonymity while trying to extort millions from the former MVP.
The woman has wanted to remain anonymous because she says she was harassed online after her name was leaked and she didn't want her conservative parents to learn about the incident. She said they don't know anything about it or her relationship with Rose.
The AP generally does not name people who say they are victims of sexual assault.
The woman didn't report the incident to police until last year — two years after she says she was raped — which is when she sued. The Los Angeles Police Department still has an open investigation.
The federal judge overseeing the case said he would allow her to remain anonymous until trial. If he kept her identity from the jury, he said it might appear he was protecting her and jurors might assume he believed her, which could hamper Rose's defence.
News from © The Associated Press, 2016