"And are you sure it was his idea to take the trail from the highway,
a total stranger to the area? It could, for all he knew be a driveway
Rick hoped everyone could see how she had to think to work out the answer.
"You are sure, you are under oath?"
"As sure as I can be, it wasn't important at the time." A slight
climb down, from certainty.
"You hadn't any idea what was likely to happen?"
"When you are in a car with a man, with whom you are obviously very
friendly and he drives out into the desert, away from other people, it
doesn't occur to you that he has anything but sightseeing, on his mind?"
"And you expect us to believe that?"
"Well, I wasn't thinking about that, it didn't occur to me."
"So you stopped and sat watching the sun go down."
"And you didn't feel at all romantic."
Even for an actress, it was becoming hard work to maintain the image.
"You saw the sun go down and it didn't impress you?"
"No. It happens every day."
"You didn't kiss, or let Rick kiss you?"
"No." she had turned cold, matter of fact type answers.
"You told us a moment or two ago that Rick suggested sex just after
you got out of the car."
"How long after?"
"I don't know, a couple of minutes."
"What colour was the sun when you got there?"
"Is this going somewhere?" asked the judge.
"Yes, as soon as Miss Beale answers."
"So you were sitting next to him on the sand for at least fifteen
to twenty minutes before he said anything and when he did it to suggest
"Well no, we were talking."
"Do you remember what about?"
"Did you touch at all in that time?"
"I don't know."
"All of a sudden there is a lot you don't know. Have you kissed my
client at all?"
"I may have given him the odd peck on the cheek."
"You confirmed a moment ago that you invited him to the film set.
Have you ever invited an almost total stranger on set before?"
"So. What did my client do all day?"
"Watched me acting."
"When you weren't acting, between takes?"
"I don't know."
"Where was he all this time?"
"By my trailer," she said rather nervously.
"Did you talk then or do something else?"
"Talked," she said defensively.
"You didn't kiss him?"
"I may have once or twice."
"I have a statement from your make up girl, it says they were
all over each other like a rash, if it wasn't for the fact they were dressed
I would have thought they were actually having sex.' Would you like me
to call her as a witness to see what else she has to say?"
"So, maybe as little as half an hour earlier you were virtually welded
together but you insist you did not touch my client, let alone kiss him."
"That's what I said."
"That isn't an answer."
"He raped me!"
"Neither is that."
"Fine. I didn't want him to then." Obviously the tirade had
given her time to think. "I realised what was on his mind, that's
why I wouldn't let him kiss me."
"Wouldn't you think that all the physical contact throughout the
day could be considered an enticement? You were in effect leading him
"Obviously your mind works in a very disorganised manner. If you
cannot see the insane inconsistency I at least hope the jury can. Perhaps
we should come at this from another direction. Were any of your clothes
"No." Jennifer was puzzled she was clearly not thinking far
"So Rick forcibly stripped you, tore off your everything your wore,
without ripping anything, or popping off a button?"
"That's my line, but if you can't answer, I'll continue. Do you still
say you struggled almost from leaving the car."
"Yes!" she could not go back, would not, she wanted her pound
"You tried to get away from a man for twenty minutes while talking
about nothing in particular? Oh and without sustaining any bruises?"
"I..." Well she made the bed, if it was suddenly uncomfortable
she still had to lie in it.
"Fine. Did he manage to remove all your clothing?"
"Do you think that strange?"
"That he undressed you completely."
"But you were struggling?"
"Of course I was bloody struggling."
"So why did he take all your clothes off when all he needed to do
was pull your underwear low enough to make your body accessible?"
"I don't know."
"You let Rick make love to you."
"No!" she screamed, "He raped me."
"Please let me finish. You let Rick make love to you without so much
as scratching him, hitting him, or ripping any of his clothes."
Jennifer interrupted, she had found time to think, "I was frightened."
"How tall are you?"
"Five foot eleven."
"Very impressive in a woman. Rick is five nine, you were so terrified
of someone smaller than you are, that you didn't attempt to struggle at
"Yes." Even the District Attorney could see she was lying, would
the jury take enough notice.
"What did you say to make my client strike you?"
"You mean he just hit you, for no reason?"
"Yes," her answers were no longer entirely plausible.
"You didn't threaten him?"
"Me!" she laughed, a callous sound.
"With the police, maybe even a life sentence?"
"I may have." the first true statement in ages.
"Don't you feel that you would be frightened by an indefinite spell
in one of our prison facilities?"
"I don't know."
"You don't feel you provoked him?"
Then he slipped in a sly question, totally out of place.
"Where were those photographs taken?"
"On the set," she replied without thinking. But it wasn't worth
pursuing the point, she would deny make up had been used. Enough to let
the jury know there was opportunity for a little exaggeration.
"One last thing. How many boyfriends have you had this year?"
"Objection, it has no relevance to the case."
"I'm sorry, I'll be more specific, it has everything to do with a
previous reply to one of the prosecution's questions. How long did you
go out with Buck Keen?"
"Two days. Why?" she suddenly flushed, she knew why.
"You met him at the party to celebrate your last film."
The red was now from anger. "Do I have to answer this rubbish?"
The judge had read the papers too. "Yes."
"I did." The words were spat out.
"That was you first time you had actually met?"
"The party when you ended up making love to Mr Keen in the pool,
to the amusement of everyone present."
"Yes," her teeth grated together, eyes slanted in hate.
"But you didn't consider making love to Rick, who had been courting
you for three days, three consecutive evenings and with whom you had been
kissing and playing, almost intimately, all that day, in front of the
whole film set?"
"No." Nobody should have believed her.
"Incidently, what were you wearing when you regained consciousness?"
"My knickers, why?"
"I know you have replied to this already, but I need to be sure.
When you alleged that Rick raped you were you wearing anything?"
"No." The tone had changed, suddenly she realised something
her anger had prevented her from seeing before.
"So after raping you and knocking you senseless, this evil man replaced
your underwear in case it caused any embarrassment in the ensuing hours?"
"Yes," she said softly. "He must have and laid all my clothes
over my body."
The prosecution had completed their case and their faces were blank, devoid
of all hope. The rape charge, which hinged on Jennifer's word, should
have been destroyed. Yet her impression had initially been strong, the
nation had an immense love for her, perhaps everyone had a place in their
heart, either as a daughter, or a sweetheart.
Would you believe your child when her word had been brought into question?