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Gold Coast sex slave trial starts with nude photo, graphic descriptions

Kimberly O'Brien KevJ. Anderson

Kimberly O'Brien and Kevin J. Anderson

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Updated: July 13, 2013 6:34AM



Divorces can get real ugly once lawyers get involved.

Seven years after Kimberley O’Brien filed a lawsuit alleging her abusive multi-millionaire ex-husband kept her as a “sex slave,” the 52-year-old Gold Coast woman found out just how ugly Tuesday.

A 4-foot tall, enlarged photograph of a naked, newlywed O’Brien exposing herself to her husband on a hotel balcony on her honeymoon was shown to a federal jury at the start of what’s expected to be an unusually bitter two-week trial.

It was a startling moment that set off a low murmur of shock in Judge Edmond Chang’s packed downtown courtroom — and prompted a tearful O’Brien to roll her eyes in disbelief.

But it set the tone for an emotionally raw first day of testimony in which O’Brien’s attorneys accused Kevin Anderson, 57, of being a “Jekyll and Hyde” character who wooed O’Brien with expensive Michigan Avenue gifts and luxury trips, then violently forced her into a sadomasochistic lifestyle.

Urging jurors to force Anderson to pay “substantial damages” for abuse and false imprisonment, O’Brien’s attorney Dean Dickie said Anderson had ordered O’Brien to get an abortion, and, during their 2005 California honeymoon, had tied her up, blindfolded her, beat her unconscious and raped her, then told her that it would happen unless she was a “good slave.”

Anderson repeatedly subjected O’Brien to degrading sex acts and enforced the terms of a “master-slave contract,” requiring her to parade around the house naked in heels, to sleep on the floor and to refer to him as her “Master,” Dickie said.

“No man should ever be able to treat a woman he claims to love — or any woman — like this,” he added.

But representing Anderson, Charles Cole said that it was O’Brien who introduced Anderson to bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism, denying Anderson ever hurt O’Brien without her consent and adding, “This is a case driven largely by revenge and greed.”

He said the giant honeymoon photograph of a smiling O’Brien exposing her naked body was taken the morning after O’Brien claims she was beaten unconscious and raped. “She liked it,” he said of the rough sex play, noting that no bruises were visible in the photograph.

Banned by the judge from referring to Anderson’s claims that O’Brien was once a prostitute, he instead used euphemisms that appeared to hint at that allegation.

O’Brien was “a well-traveled woman of independent means, naturally associated with people of means and substance,” he said, referring to trips O’Brien took to Las Vegas and to Italy and China with other men.

O’Brien at one point said “Lies! Lies!” as Cole spoke.

She later took the stand, explaining in a quiet voice how Anderson had romanced her in a “rollercoaster” affair after they met in Aspen, Colo., in 2000.

“I felt that I’d found my soul mate,” she testified. Though Anderson once jilted her at the altar, lied about being single and about being a father, called her “fat and ugly” and physically abused her before they wed, she said, “He always apologized and promised he’d change.”

O’Brien — who in 2006 went public with her claims in an interview with the Sun-Times, saying she wanted to stand up against domestic violence — broke down in tears several times during her testimony when she described her sorrow at consenting to an abortion.

“I felt so beaten down. . . . I didn’t know which way to turn,” she said. “It was the biggest mistake of my life being with this man.”

Adding that every time she sees a child she is reminded of her abortion, she screamed “I hate Kevin Anderson for what he did to me!”

O’Brien’s testimony is due to continue Wednesday, when she will speak about her alleged introduction to the shadowy world of sadomasochism.



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