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Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Duke Lacrosse Scandal: The "Buzz"

updated: 10:30 p.m. June 7, 2006

Buzz Bissinger H.G. "Buzz" Bissinger was a reporter for the Chicago Tribune and the Philadelphia Inquirer, he has won the Pulitzer Prize. He also wrote the books Friday Night Lights and Prayer for the City. He is now a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. Buzz is making the rounds promoting his new article in Vanity Fair about the Duke lacrosse scandal, which will be released Wednesday.

Portions of his article have started to become public:

In an interview published in the new issue of Vanity Fair magazine, dancer Kim Roberts also said she did not know if the other dancer, an unnamed 27-year-old black woman, was raped but did know the woman was in such poor shape when they left that Roberts had to call police for help...

Roberts told Vanity Fair contributing editor Buzz Bissinger she was originally told she would be performing at a bachelor party, where she assumed the men would be close to 30 or a little older. But when she arrived she realized the crowd was all younger men, some so drunk they were urinating off the porch of the house.

When they learned that the second dancer coming was black, some objected because they wanted a white dancer, she said. But the two dancers nonetheless danced for about eight minutes until a young man waved a broomstick in the air and made crude comments.

She said she felt overwhelmed and intimidated. "You have to think of two little girls among how many big boys? That in and of itself is intimidating. ...

"How is someone supposed to perform a show if they're wondering .... 'Am I going to have to worry about my safety?' Things were said that made me concerned for my safety."

She added that when she and the other dancer left, the players shouted racial slurs.
Vanity Fair July 2006 (hard copy, not on-line version):
According to defense attorney William Thomas, representing one of the team captains, it was shortly after the performance had begun that one of the players asked the dancers if they had brought "any toys," an apparent reference to sexual toys. Thomas said Roberts responded by saying something to the effect of "What's wrong, white boy, is your dick too small?"(Roberts refused to comment on Thomas's claim. A source, however, readily conceded that she did make a comment similar to the one described by Thomas, but only at the end of the evening, after one of the players called her a "nigger.")

Thomas said the same player who made the reference to "toys" subsequently lifted a broomstick and said words to the effect of "Here, you can use this."
(via talkleft.com)

Kim Roberts Kim Roberts, Other Dancer in Duke Rape Case, Talks to Vanity Fair:
'O.K., you guys seem very respectful. If everybody acts as you are acting, I'm sure we'll have a fun time. I'm sure we'll have a good time.' They completely assured me that everybody in there were good guys—'Everybody in there is respectful, and you will be fine and safe.' [I was] completely assured of that," Roberts tells Bissinger.

According to Roberts, she asked the men to go inside so that she could get to know the other dancer. Although statements were attributed to Roberts publicly, claiming that she said she had found the other woman "loopy" from the outset, Roberts tells Bissinger that characterization is incorrect, and that when she was outside with the other woman she was "absolutely fine." The two women chatted for a bit behind the house and had "a regular, normal conversation, nothing that set off any alarm bells in my head. We talked. We joked a little bit," Roberts says. "I told her I was new to this and didn't really know what I was doing. [She] told me that she danced at a club and was a little more experienced. She told me about her kids."

Crystal Gail Mangum, the accuser, in her only interview did not tell The News & Observer that she danced at clubs. She told them:
The accuser had worked for an escort company for two months, doing one-on-one dates about three times a week.

"It wasn't the greatest job," she said, her voice trailing off. But with two children, and a full class load at N.C. Central University, it paid well and fit her schedule.

This was the first time she had been hired to dance provocatively for a group, she said.

Brian Taylor, Ms. Mangum's driver, the evening of the incident, told The News & Observer:
Taylor had known for a while that [Ms. Mangum] was a dancer. He and a male friend had watched her perform at clubs in Smithfield and Hillsborough.

Fox News reported, that Mr. Taylor and Ms. Mangum's other unidentified driver told police:
The drivers say in police statements that they brought the accuser to at least five separate gigs the weekend before the alleged attack, defense sources said.

The Abrams Report on MSNBC analyzed Ms. Roberts new spin in the Vanity Fair article:
ABRAMS: All right. Yale, a lot of statements here in this article from Kim Roberts about the fear she had, about the behavior of the young men. I mean clearly, she is trying to paint a very negative portrait of these men and the party.

YALE GALANTER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: She, you know, she‘s been flip-flopping in her stories all along, Dan. She originally said she didn‘t see anything. She didn‘t hear anything. I like you have seen a lot of these photographs. There was no fear on her face. She looked completely relaxed.

She looks like she was very into the show. She never complained about these things prior to the “Vanity Fair” interview. I think she may be taking advice from her P.R. firm and trying to put more of a positive spin on it for her.


GALANTER: Susan, these pictures—the pictures of these women, they do not look like they‘re intimidated...

ABRAMS: No, they are...

ABRAMS: They are buck-naked...

GOSLEE: That‘s subjective, Yale.

ABRAMS: All right. My subjective opinion of looking at these pictures is they are two-buck naked women performing sexual acts on one another in front of a lot of different people. Now again...

Kevin Cassese The new Duke lacrosse coach, Kevin Cassese, played on the Duke team with David Evans in 2003.

Mr. Cassese held a news conference Tuesday where he defended the indicted players. Basketball coach, Mike Krzyzewski, was among those who attended the news conference at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Cassese said:
"There's no secret the university as a whole has taken a hit in recruiting, especially," Cassese said. "That's to be expected. But the recruits and everybody see Duke University for what Duke University is, and that's an institution of higher learning. It's one of the tops in the nation. People come here to be students first and athletes, and that's what they're still going to do."


Cassese said that he supports the three indicted players, including Evans, a former teammate.

"I find it impossible to believe that he could have done the things that he is accused of," Cassese said. "While I never had the opportunity to play alongside Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty, I will, as with David Evans, support them until there is evidence and a court decision that leads me to conclude otherwise."

All three suspects are expected to appear again in court on June 22.

Minister Ava Muhammad Minister Muhammad Calls for Community to Stand with Rape Victim:
The national spokesperson for Nation of Islam leader Min. Louis Farrakhan is calling on African-Americans everywhere to stand by "our sister," the embattled victim in the Duke lacrosse alleged gang rape case.

"We should have rushed to her defense instantly. We’ve got to take the next step; we’ve got to be willing to step up and be seen, so when our sister makes her decision to make herself known, and I want to be there, we need to surround her like an ocean," Min. Ava Muhammad, who is also Min. Farrakhan’s attorney, told a jammed-packed community town hall meeting Sunday at the Downtown Durham YMCA.

"We’ve got to close ranks so that wickedness does not come in."


The NOI spokesperson added that the Duke rape case, along with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and other noteworthy recent events, makes it clear that racism against African-Americans is alive and well.

"We know that there is contempt for us,” Min. Muhammad said. “This is rooted in the very existence of this nation."

$22,850 is bill for DNA testing:
It cost taxpayers $22,850 for DNA testing at a private laboratory that failed to find a conclusive link between Duke lacrosse players and the alleged March gang rape of an exotic dancer, according to papers filed in Durham County Superior Court.

The paperwork includes an invoice from DNA Security of Burlington for analyzing 23 "evidence specimens" at $450 each and 50 "reference specimens" at $250 each.

Forget the Facts - Duke's president has a history of allowing public relations to trump principle. He did the same thing at Yale:
Yale administrators did not care that there was neither evidence nor motive linking Van de Velde to Jovin. Her body had been found a half-mile from his house. Just as at Duke, Brodhead spoke eloquently about the principles of due process, but moved to subvert it. Citing the New Haven Police Department’s naming of Van de Velde among “a pool of suspects,” Brodhead cancelled Van de Velde’s spring-term lecture, explaining that “the cancellation of the course doesn’t follow from a judgment or a prejudgment of his hypothetical involvement in the Jovin case.” As at Duke, Brodhead insisted that due process would prevail. Despite Van de Velde’s stellar student reviews and distinguished record, Brodhead then let his contract lapse. Van de Velde left New Haven, his career in shambles.

Other dancer in Duke rape case felt unsafe [reuters.com, June 5, 2006]
'The Abrams Report' for June 6 [msnbc]
New Duke Lacrosse Coach Wants To Repair Team's Reputation [wral.com, June 6, 2006]
Cassese begins Duke repairs [Newsday, June 7, 2006]
MIN. MUHAMMAD CALLS FOR COMMUNITY TO STAND WITH RAPE VICTIM [Cash Michaels | Willmington Journal, June 5, 2006]
$22,850 is bill for DNA testing [heraldsun.com, June 6, 2006]
Forget the Facts [nationalreview.com, June 6, 2006]
Defense Sources: Duke Accuser Gave Conflicting Stories About Alleged Rape [FoxNews.com, May 24, 2006]
Accuser seemed OK early on, driver says [NewsObserver.com, May 27, 2006]
Dancer gives details of ordeal [NewsObserver.com, March 25, 2006]

Kevin Cassese Joins Blue Devil Lacrosse Staff [cstv.com, Jul. 5, 2005]

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