The daughter of the state judge accused in the Bess Myerson alimony-fixing trial today withstood a second day of hammering cross-examination after admitting that she had received electroshock treatments for depression.
Sukhreet Gabel was mercilessly questioned by the former Miss America’s attorney, Fred Hafetz, on discrepancies in her testimony.
Hafetz attempted to show that Gabel had a tendency to recall more detail the further away in time she got from an event in question.
Myerson, 64, her jailed boyfriend, Carl (Andy) Capasso, 43, and Gabel’s mother, retired state Supreme Court Justice Hortense Gabel, are on trial in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on bribery-related charges.
Hortense Gabel, 75, handled Capasso’s 1983 divorce case and is accused of slashing support payments to the millionaire sewer contractor’s ex-wife after Myerson gave Sukhreet Gabel a $19,000-a-year job in the city Cultural Affairs Department, where Myerson was commissioner.
“Did the electroshock treatments allow you to recollect better later?” Hafetz asked.
“I don’t think it had anything to do with it,” Gabel replied coolly.
“A few years from now you’ll remember even better?” he responded.
Monday, Hafetz--referring to the “electroshock treatment to your brain"--asked the 39-year-old witness if “it made your memory selective, like Swiss cheese with holes in it.”
“Sometimes I get confused between knowing it happened and thinking it happened,” Gabel responded.
The witness also said that when she attended cultural events with Myerson, she was instructed to keep out of camera range. “I don’t think I would have offered her any competition,” Gabel commented, touching off laughter in the courtroom.