The woman who says Derrick Rose and two friends raped her in 2013 spoke to reporters again Thursday, a day after granting interviews to the Associated Press, New York Daily News, and Think Progress. Alongside her lawyers and activist Katherine Redmond Brown, Jane Doe answered many questions about the night she says she was raped and why she wants to remain anonymous. Her lawyers also presented the argument that not only was their client incapacitated to the point she couldn’t give consent, but that Rose might not have understood what consent was.
From the beginning, Rose’s legal team has said that while he and friends Randall Hampton and Ryan Allen had sex with Doe, it was all consensual. Doe, who denies that, talked today on a conference call about hanging out with Rose and his friends and about how much she had to drink that night. She said when she got home, she started vomiting, went to bed with her clothes on, and today only remembers what followed in flashes. She woke up the next morning with her dress up to her neck, feeling that “something really bad happened.” One of her lawyers, Brandon Anand, later said, “She was in no condition to give consent.”
In his June 17 deposition, lawyers asked Rose about consent. One of Doe’s lawyers read aloud that section of Rose’s sworn deposition—which is not available to the public—during today’s press conference. Here is that segment that was read aloud to reporters on the call:
Question: Do you have an understanding as to the word consent?
Derrick Rose: No. But can you tell me?
Question: I just wanted to know if you had an understanding.
Derrick Rose: No.
Her attorneys did not read any other portion of the deposition aloud. The issue of consent, and how much Rose understands about it, was first reported yesterday by Think Progress, which quoted Anand as addressing the issue of whether Rose understood consent by saying, “I can say actually that Derrick definitely could not, because we asked him that question in his deposition, and his response was, ‘No, can you tell me?’”
Think Progress said that, in response to a request for comment yesterday, Rose’s attorneys “did not deny that during his deposition, Rose did not not know the definition of consent.” Lawyer Mark D. Baute told them, “Mr. Rose is confident that the evidence on plaintiff’s consent will be clear once all the facts are heard.” Baute gave us a lengthier statement today, hitting the same point: “Mr. Rose is confident that the evidence of plaintiff’s consent will be clear once all the facts are heard. The plaintiff consented to sex each and every time they had sex during their twenty month relationship, including on the night that is the focus of this lawsuit.”
Filed more than a year ago, the case is scheduled to go to trial next month. Next week, a judge will decide whether or not the woman who is suing Rose can use a Jane Doe pseudonym during the trial itself. (Rose’s legal team is arguing she should have to proceed under her real name.) Currently, the federal judge on the case has said that Rose and his two co-defendants are allowed to use the plaintiff’s name in the discovery process, allowing them to identify her to third-party witnesses so they know who they are discussing, but that’s it. Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald warned that “Defendant Rose must exercise due care not to disclose Plaintiff’s identity outside the discovery process.” But the judge also said he would revisit the anonymity granted to Doe before the trial started:
The Court further notes that Plaintiff’s anonymity could significantly prejudice Defendant Rose if this action were to progress to trial. Indeed, the jury may interpret the Court’s permission for Plaintiff to conceal her identity as a comment on the harm Defendants allegedly caused. The Court will therefore reevaluate the balance of interests regarding Plaintiff’s anonymity at the final pretrial conference.
The initial lawsuit drew a great deal of attention when it was first filed, but then quickly dropped off the media radar. In her lawsuit, Doe said that she met Rose in 2011 in Los Angeles during the NBA lockout. She and Rose, she says, began a relationship, and Rose began asking her to involve other women and couples in their sex life. Doe says she was uncomfortable with the idea of group sex and other acts Rose asked of her, including masturbating on Skype from a MacBook he bought for her.
In her lawsuit, Doe said she was raped in August 2013—nearly two years after she met Rose, at her apartment. Doe was, the suits asserts, hanging out with Rose and his friends, became inebriated to the point of blacking out—her original complaint says her drink was drugged (a lawyer today said it was “still possible that they drugged the plaintiff”)—and at one point was playing with hot stones in a fire pit, apparently unaware that she was severely burning her hands until a friend told her to stop. The lawsuit says Rose’s friend Ryan Allen told Doe’s friend to leave and called a cab for her. The lawsuit says Doe’s friend refused to leave without her, and Doe was taken to her apartment in the cab.
Doe says Rose, his friend Ryan Allen, and his manager Randall Hampton then drove to her apartment, came into her bedroom and took turns raping her. She said today that she pieced together what happened when she woke up with her legs covered in lubricant and with used condoms in her room. Text messages submitted to the court between her and Rose show her asking him to come over, by himself, he comes over with his friends, but end with two that she doesn’t respond to. The last one is “Hello?” from Rose to her. Court records, as first reported by Think Progress, also show Rose later calling her phone and Doe not answering.
Although Rose’s full deposition, as well as those Allen and Hampton, haven’t been released, pieces of their statements have come out via the court filings. When asked if Rose asked if he was curious as to why his friends wanted to go to Doe’s apartment on the night of the alleged night, Rose said he didn’t ask, “but we be men. You can assume.” (This quote also was first reported by Think Progress).
“I said, ‘We men. You can assume’” Rose said when asked for clarification. “Like we leaving to go over to someone’s house at 1:00, there’s nothing to talk about. [...] I didn’t quite understand your last answer. You’re going over to a woman house at 1 o’clock in the morning. What else is it to talk about?”
Rose goes on to say he had sex with Doe once, and answered “No” when asked if her eyes were shut or if her speech was slurred during intercourse. He said Allen and Hampton had sex with her once as well.
Before this week, Doe’s counter to Rose’s claims, as laid out in court documents, focused largely on evidence that Rose had propositioned her for group sex previously and that she had always turned him down.
In June 2013, Rose had invited the plaintiff to the W hotel to “join me and my guy Randall and his chick,” telling Doe, “I mean let’s all do something. She looks nice too. I need that.” Doe replied, “So u want me to fuck your friend….”
In July, she sent a photo to Rose (not available in the court documents), to which he replied, “We good but I’m not messing wit u like that anymore.” When she called him a hater, he said, “Its no hate wit u at all. U got mad at me for askin a question.”
In his deposition, Rose initially said he was trying to break it off with the plaintiff because he was a “busy man,” and that he “just wasn’t feeling it.”
But when asked about the text message in which he says the plaintiff gets mad at him for asking a question, Rose admitted it was about the request for a threesome:
Doe sent Rose a furious text message in response:
Despite this, Rose said in the deposition he felt that the plaintiff was upset not because of the request for group sex, but because he had asked for it over text message:
None of this should matter. From Doe’s legal team’s perspective, as they explained today, this is evidence that she would have not have consented to what happened that night—in other words, that she’s not that type of girl—but it’s hard to ignore how that pushes against the very work that has been done to separate consent from character in rape cases. It doesn’t, or at least shouldn’t, matter if it’s a prostitute being raped by a pimp or a virgin raped by a stranger in a dark alley—no matter the person’s background or sexual history, a person who did not give consent has been raped.
It’s easier to understand the strategy, though, when Rose’s lawyers continue to be aggressive in trying to use Doe’s history against her. In today’s statement, in full below, Rose’s lawyer does just that.
Mr. Rose is confident that the evidence of plaintiff’s consent will be clear once all the facts are heard. The plaintiff consented to sex each and every time they had sex during their twenty month relationship, including on the night that is the focus of this lawsuit. The salacious allegations of a woman who is now on a media tour—who also claims to not remember much from that night—do not change what transpired that evening, which was consensual intercourse between Mr. Rose and the plaintiff.
The plaintiff’s ever changing cast of lawyers is such that their latest strategy is to pander to the media with headline grabbing theories that bear no relationship to the actual evidence, because they mistakenly believe that such pandering will embarrass or intimidate Mr. Rose into a large and unwarranted settlement payment. The trial starts soon, and Mr. Rose looks forward to clearing his good name and moving past this unfortunate saga.
Doe’s lawyers said today they would like to settle and avoid going to trial, but described Rose’s lawyers as “unresponsive.” Lawyer Waukeen McCoy told reporters today, “It’s a bit surprising this case hasn’t resolved.” Even the judge has encouraged the two sides try to settle, with no results. The reason should be obvious: Doe spoke openly today about not wanting to drag her family through her suffering and, even if she is allowed to keep her anonymity, Doe probably would testify—and be subject to brutal cross-examination from Rose’s team. For Rose, even with his legal team saying the sex that night was consensual, the details coming out in the process of Rose defending himself make him sound like a scumbag. It’s presumably in his best interests for this to go away.
Rose’s legal team, however, still sounds dead set on going to trial. It’s scheduled to start Oct. 4, just weeks before the NBA season tips off.