The friend of a woman who has accused NBA star Derrick Rose and his associates in a federal lawsuit of raping her while she was incapacitated testified Thursday that the plaintiff was very drunk in the hours leading up to the alleged assault.
In sometimes terse exchanges with attorneys for Rose and his friends, Jessica "Kendra" Groff testified that the plaintiff was so drunk at the athlete's rented Beverly Hills mansion the night of Aug. 26, 2013, that she grabbed searing-hot stones out of a fire pit, blistering her hand.
"OK, she's a little more intoxicated than I thought," Groff said she realized at the time.
The plaintiff has accused Rose and his two friends, Randall Hampton and Ryan Allen, of drugging her at the home and later driving to her apartment in Los Angeles, sneaking in and raping her. She is seeking $21 million.
The men have not been charged criminally in the case and deny the allegations. Los Angeles police officials have said they are continuing to investigate the incident, which the woman reported in 2015.
The Times generally does not name people who allege they are victims of sexual assault.
The plaintiff's legal team has presented no physical evidence supporting their client's allegations, leaving the jury of six women and two men with the task of weighing the credibility of witness testimony in trying to determine whose account to believe.
According to Groff, the plaintiff, who had once dated Rose, was nervous about seeing him for the first time in months and was drinking on the car ride to his home in Beverly Hills.
Once she and the plaintiff arrived, they had several shots of tequila with the men and hung out by the pool. But only a couple of hours passed before the night "exploded," Groff testified.
It erupted when Groff walked into Rose's bedroom looking for her friend, she said. She and the basketball player were talking when Allen walked in and told her, "take off your clothes," Groff testified.
"I felt very disrespected … I was so upset, I was so mad to experience what I just experienced," she said.
In testimony on Wednesday, Allen had told jurors that Groff had stripped off her clothes in Rose's bedroom while he ignored her and that Allen had asked her to leave.
Groff contradicted the account on Thursday, saying she never removed her clothes.
She said she went with her friend to the home only because she was studying massage therapy and thought she could network with Rose. Claims by the men — and the plaintiff in a text message sent to Rose that night — that Groff was there to have sex with the athlete were false, she testified.
Groff said she and the plaintiff took a cab home, and that the plaintiff was "very drunk" but awake. Rose and his friends testified she was sober.
At the heart of the men's defense is a series of text messages as late as 2 a.m. between the plaintiff and Rose. One of the messages shows the woman demanding that the athlete come to her apartment, but the plaintiff testified she doesn't remember sending it and had been drugged by the men.
She previously testified that she woke up to find the men in her bedroom and did not consent to sex with any of them.
During his testimony, Rose, who plays for the New York Knicks, portrayed the woman as the aggressor throughout the night. He said she agreed to have the three men come to her apartment, let them in and willingly had sex with each of them in turn.