Sunday, October 25, 2020
Sunday, October 25, 2020

Tom Mesereau continues cross-examination of Janice Baker-Kinney, focuses on Gloria Allred

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Yesterday, you appeared to be very firm in your statement that attorney Gloria Allred only represents you for media appearances, correct?” Mesereau asked Baker-Kinney. “Correct,” she replied.

“Has that always been the case?” Mesereau asked, looking towards the witness stand. Janice’s simple reply, “yes.”

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Mesereau: “So she’s only been your ‘media attorney’, correct?”
Kinney Baker: “Correct.”
Mesereau: “You indicated that you had heard of a proposal Gloria Allred made where she was inviting Cosby to put $100 million into a fund, the statute of limitations would be waived and an arbitrator would be chosen to decide whether her clients deserved money, correct?”
Baker-Kinney: “I think so. I think I heard about it – on the news or glanced on it in a newspaper. Not sure how I heard about it.”

She was a bartender at Harrah’s in Reno, Nevada, in the 1980s when she went over with a friend to see Cosby for what she called a “pizza party.” It was at a house where Harrah’s let entertainers stay, the house she claims Cosby sexually assaulted her.

Mesereau focused on what you might expect: Baker-Kinney’s admission that she had used drugs at times in her life became a string of questions about what parties she went to, when they were, and how many drugs she did at them. Baker-Kinney, who testified that she struggled with a problem with alcohol, was quizzed on the exact dates of when she realized this. She was asked, over and over again, why she had retained attorney Gloria Allred (a series of questions the defense team has asked every witness who has worked with Allred so far). Baker-Kinney was asked about telling her roommate at the time, “I really got fucked up last night and slept with Bill Cosby.”

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“She [Allred] was your lawyer in interviews with Cheltenham Police Department and the Montgomery County District Attorneys Office, correct?” Mesereau asked. “On the phone, once.” She responded.

NORRISTOWN, PA – APRIL 12: Bill Cosby walks towards the courtroom after a break in the Montgomery County Courthouse on the fourth day of his sexual assault retrial on April 12, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. A former Temple University employee alleges that the entertainer drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia. More than 40 women have accused the 80 year old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

Mesereau kept his line of questioning focused around Gloria Allred, in what seemed to be an effort to better understand what Allred’s intentions were.

Mesereau: “What do you mean on the phone once?”
Baker-Kinney: “Which police department?”
Mesereau: “The Cheltenham Police and Assistant District Attorney Feden. She [Allred] represented you in those conversations, true?”
Baker-Kinney: “I think we did a phone interview once and it was a conference call. We never met in person.”
Mesereau: “What do you mean ‘we never met in person’?”
Baker-Kinney: “With the police. She was not with me, she was on a conference call.”

“According to police, Gloria Allred was present and you agreed to provide your address and contact information to the police through Ms. Allred. That was not for a media appearance, was it?” Baker-Kinney replied, “Correct.”

“We were just making sure that everything I said was correct and I wasn’t getting tricked up.”

“You authorized a statement [to police] with the assistance of Ms. Allred, Correct?” Baker-Kinney agreed, stating that was true. “If she was only your media lawyer, why did you need her for the police and the district attorney?” Mesereau followed up. “When I did my initial press release with Ms. Allred, I wanted to have her by my side for anything else I said that could be released to the press, [or] talked to [with] the press. She wasn’t hired as a legal attorney. We were just making sure that everything I said was correct and I wasn’t getting tricked up.”

“You were worried you were going to get tricked up by the Cheltenham Police Department?” Mesereau asked, almost shocked.

“No. I know they’re not media. She was just representing me every time I spoke to someone and that was mostly media. She was my contact for anybody to get a hold of me. So if the police wanted to get a hold of me, from Cheltenham, they would’ve contacted Gloria.” Baker-Kinney replied.

“Well, if you weren’t using her for anything but media, why did you agree that she would be the one to give your contact information to Assistant District Attorney Feden and Cheltenham Police? Why?” Mesereau asked.

“I’m assuming the Cheltenham Police contacted her to find me. I don’t know. I can’t answer that. She has never been paid by me. She doesn’t pay me. There’s no money involved. I just signed something that said she would be there for me for media appearances.” Baker-Kinney told Mesereau as she looked over to Allred in the gallery of the Court.

“You never paid her, which I suspect is very true, but.” Mesereau continued, with Baker-Kinney adding, “It is very true.”

NORRISTOWN, PA – APRIL 12: Bill Cosby walks towards the courtroom behind reporters after a break in the Montgomery County Courthouse on the fourth day of his sexual assault retrial on April 12, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. A former Temple University employee alleges that the entertainer drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia. More than 40 women have accused the 80 year old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

“But, if she puts this $100 million fund together, she would normally get 30% – 40% of that fund?” Mesereau asked. “I don’t know her percentage, you have to ask her.”

“You never talked to her about it?” Mesereau asked. “I never talked to her about it.”

“She’s a broker. She brings cases in through publicity, then hooks them up with a real lawyer for a percentage of the fee.” Prominent Philadelphia criminal defense attorney A. Charles Peruto, Jr. told YC when asked about his thoughts on Allred being the focal point of cross-examination. “She has all sorts of contacts to reach out to these people, visit them, make them feel comfortable with the media, and gets her mug on TV.”

“Do you remember telling your sister ‘I just slept with Bill Cosby, I think I slept with him, I thought I just got really drunk, I went there and drank too much.’ Do you remember that?” Mesereau asked Baker-Kinney. “I don’t remember,” she told Mesereau.

“Would it fresh your memory if you looked at the statement [your sister made] to police?” Mesereau said, followed by a quick “no” from Baker-Kinney.

Judge O’Neill then stated, “you’re trying to refresh her recollection with something she’s never seen?”

“Your Honor, you could recollect memory with virtually anything,” Mesereau continued. “Your Honor, with all due respect it would refresh what she said she told her sister if I showed her, her sister’s statement [to police].”

“Oh,” Judge O’Neill said. “I’ll permit that. That’s a different question than [what] you asked before.”

“I’m only talking about your statement to your sister the day after the events [that] happened,” Mesereau said, referring to the alleged sexual encounter. “You told her basically you got too drunk?”

“That’s what she said I said,” Baker-Kinney said, referring to her sister. “She also said that I told you that I took a pill.”

Mesereau replied, “later on, later on, right?” Baker-Kinney, answered in a questioning tone, “I don’t remember. I can’t say it in any other way other than I don’t recall one bit of my conversation with her the day after.”

“Did anyone prepare your testimony here?” Mesereau, asked in a calm but noticeably higher-tone.

“I did have a meeting with a district attorney and detective Monday night to inform me how the court operates and we went over my statement again,” Baker-Kinney said.

“Did you do questions and answers?” Mesereau replied.

“He just asked me about the questions in the statement, went over what I initially asked” Baker-Kinney said. He asked me more about my background, too.”

“Now, when you say statement, which statement are you referring to?” Mesereau followed up. “The statement I gave to police a year ago,” she told him.  Mesereau followed up again, with the same, loud tone, “How long was that meeting Monday night with the prosecution?”

“Maybe 30 minutes.” Baker-Kinney said calmly.

Mesereau, now with his voice growing noticeably louder with jurors turning their heads at a quick pace to catch Baker-Kinney’s answers:

Mesereau: “Did you meet with them last night?”
Baker-Kinney: “No.”
Mesereau: “Did you talk to anyone associated with the prosecution last night?”
Baker-Kinney: “No.”
Mesereau: “No one called you?”
Baker-Kinney: “No.”

“I hate to beat a dead horse, but you read your sister’s interview with police, correct?” Mesereau asked. “Just now” she replied.

“According to your sister, you never mentioned drugs until people started coming out and complaining about Bill Cosby, correct?” Mesereau asked.

“I don’t know” she told him.

Mesereau raising his voice, asked his final question: “You told your sister, the next day, you slept with Bill Cosby, you thought you got really drunk, you went there and got too drunk, and never mentioned pills?”

“I also hate to beat a dead horse,” Baker-Kinney continued. “But again, I don’t recall what I said to my sister.”

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