A SUICIDE NOTE left by professional golfer Erica Blasberg in 2010 blames no one, expresses deep personal unhappiness and describes a mixture of drugs kicking in before ending with the words, "love and kisses, eternity, Erica."
"I'm sad and don't want to be doing this right now," the 25-year-old wrote in the letter that was read to a jury in Las Vegas yesterday. "Sorry for all the people I've hurt doing this, but please understand how miserable and sad I am, and that I feel no way of escaping it."
The note provided a dramatic opening to a civil wrongful death, medical malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty trial against Blasberg's then-physician, occasional golfing buddy and personal friend, Dr. Thomas Hess.
Blasberg's parents accuse Hess of having had an inappropriate relationship with her and failing to provide proper medical care before she died. Their lawsuit, filed in 2011 in Clark County (Nev.) District Court, seeks unspecified monetary damages.
Hess, now 46, denies having a romantic relationship with Blasberg. He pleaded guilty in late 2010 to a misdemeanor obstruction charge for removing the suicide note and medications after discovering Blasberg's body, and was sentenced to 1 year of probation and 40 hours of community service.
Blasberg's parents' attorney, Nick Crosby, told the jury that circumstantial evidence and series of seemingly secretive acts surrounding their communication point to Hess' responsibility in the death.
"This is a case about a doctor who let his personal interest get in the way of his professional responsibility," Crosby said, "and my clients' daughter died as a result."
The Clark County coroner determined that Blasberg committed suicide by asphyxiation, with a toxic combination of medications in her system.
* Michael Sam was selected the winner of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. The Missouri defensive end, who likely will be drafted by an NFL team this weekend, will receive the award given to individuals who transcend sports at The 2014 ESPYs on July 16. Sam, the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, has announced that he is gay, making him set to become the first openly gay player in the NFL. ESPN is honoring Sam for "his courage and honesty that resonates beyond sports."
* Presidents of Pac-12 universities could vote in June to move the conference's football championship game to the San Francisco 49ers' new stadium in Santa Clara, California. The first three conference title games have been held in the stadium of the division champion with the best conference record.
* Firefighters found four bodies in a burning mansion owned by former tennis star James Blake, who was renting out the Tampa Bay-area house and not there at the time, officials said. Officials don't know the name, age or gender of the victims and they aren't releasing the names of people who were leasing the home.
* The French club Clermont has hired Helena Costa as its coach for next season, the first time a woman has been hired to lead a professional soccer team in France.
* Alex Hoedlmoser is the new men's speed coach for the U.S. Alpine skiing team, replacing Andreas Evers, who was fired last month after being found guilty in Austria of money-laundering. Hoedlmoser had been head coach of the U.S. women, working with Olympic gold medalists Mikaela Shiffrin, Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso.