A former girlfriend’s account of Barry Bonds’ sex life after he allegedly began using steroids would be “lurid, ridiculous, uncorroborated, contradicted and subject to a battle of experts,” lawyers for the former Giants slugger say.
In a filing yesterday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, Bonds' defense team asked a judge to impose limits on the testimony of former girlfriend Kimberly Bell at Bonds’ upcoming trial on perjury charges.
Bell was Bonds’ girlfriend from 1994 until 2003. Bonds confided to her that he was using steroids, Bell has told government investigators.
She’s expected to be a key government witness March 21 when Bonds goes on trial, accused of lying about his drug use in 2003 in testimony before the federal grand jury that investigated the BALCO sports doping scandal.
Bonds told the grand jury he has never knowingly used steroids. He has pleaded not guilty.
In statements to investigators, Bell described a litany of changes in Bonds’ appearance and demeanor that occurred after he allegedly began using banned drugs. Bonds developed acne on his back and male pattern baldness, she says, and became prone to sudden rages. Those all are side effects of steroid use, prosecutors contend.
Bell also told investigators that the former Giants slugger began suffering from sexual dysfunction, and began using the prescription drug Viagra to correct it. Sexual problems also are a side effect of steroid abuse, the government says.
But Bonds’ legal team contends that the government has never identified the expert who will testify to the jury that sex problems are a steroid side effect; without that, Bell’s testimony is irrelevant, they said.
Meanwhile, the defense implied that its own expert will dispute the idea.
The defense lawyers asked Judge Susan Illston to ban Bell’s testimony on the point, which they said would prove nothing but be “embarrassingly prejudicial.”