Movie producer Robert Evans was not involved in the murder of a New York theatrical producer, Evans' former lover testified Friday in the "Cotton Club" murder trial.
Karen Delayne (Laynie) Greenberger, accused in the 1983 murder of Roy Radin, also told jurors she believed her own life had been saved on the night Radin was slain.
"Mr. Radin had a gun and intended to kill me," she said. "That's what (co-defendant William Mentzer) told me the next morning."
The prosecution claims that Greenberger hired Mentzer and two other men to kill Radin, 33, because the producer was cutting her out of a deal with Evans to finance the movie, "The Cotton Club."
Greenberger, 43, who took the stand in her own defense this week, has denied any part in the slaying of the rotund, cocaine-sniffing impresario. She has blamed Mentzer, who was her lover.
In the years since the murder, prosecutors have been unwilling to clear Evans of suspicion in the killing. Once the chief of Paramount Pictures, Evans was called as a witness at the preliminary hearing in the case but refused to testify, claiming Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination.
"Are you aware of any fact that would link Mr. Evans to Mr. Radin's death?" defense attorney Marcia Morrissey asked Greenberger.
"No, I'm not," the witness replied.
Greenberger maintains that Radin was spirited away by Mentzer and was killed on orders from a Miami drug kingpin.
Greenberger, who has said she had an affair with Evans, said she broke the news of Radin's death to Evans while meeting him at the Sheraton Hotel in Manhattan, about a week after Radin disappeared.
"I thought I should tell him what had happened," she said.
"And how did he react?" Morrissey asked.
"Very upset," Greenberger said softly.
After that, she said she had no further role in financing "The Cotton Club" and began a journey of several months looking for a home that would be a safe haven. She said that at various times she lived in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Maui, Hawaii, and Palm Springs before returning to her home in Miami.
Always, she said, she was with Mentzer, whom she saw as her protector.
"Did your relationship with Mr. Mentzer change at that time?" Morrissey asked.
"Yes. We had a sexual relationship," Greenberger said. "I became attached to Mr. Mentzer. He had saved my life. I didn't feel safe without him."
Greenberger said Mentzer persuaded her that Radin had a gun on May 13, 1983, and had planned to kill her when they set out in a limousine for dinner in Beverly Hills.
In testimony Thursday, Greenberger described a scenario in which Mentzer stopped the limousine, told her to get out, jumped in with Radin and left. Radin was never seen alive again, and Greenberger said Mentzer told her that Radin had been shot in a struggle.
Radin's body was found about a month later in a dry creek bed near Gorman. His face had been blown away by bullets and dynamite.
Mentzer, 42, is on trial along with Greenberger, Alex Marti, 30, and Robert Lowe, 44. The two men were once bodyguards for Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt.
While Greenberger testified, Mentzer sat with his head down, writing notes on a legal pad.
Greenberger has admitted that she was a cocaine dealer and has blamed cocaine kingpin Milano Bellechasses, another of her lovers, for ordering Radin's murder. She testified that she began dealing drugs in 1979.
"I made a lot of money and it just went on from there," she said. "It's kind of like being on a roller coaster and you can't get off."
Cross-examination of Greenberger was scheduled to begin Monday.