JURY SELECTION begins today in Alycia Lane's lawsuit against former co-anchor Larry Mendte and CBS 3 in Common Pleas Court. Lane claims that CBS damaged her reputation after she was fired, the news of which was reported by Mendte on air.
Here's a look at two of the juicier tidbits sure to be rehashed during the trial, and what Lane and Mendte said about them in their depositions:
THE TIFFANY'S NECKLACE: Mendte bought an $800 platinum piece and gave it to Lane. It was charged to his American Express card, and that bill was later discovered by his wife, former Fox 29 anchor Dawn Stensland.
Mendte says: We had a bet about white zinfandel . . . she said, "White zinfandel is pink." I said, "No, there is white zinfandel." And she said, "No, I used to be a bartender, there is no such thing . . ." I didn't make out well in the bet because I think the bet was her getting me coffee for a week or something like that, but she said she wanted something from Tiffany's. . . . And so I asked around and she won the bet.
I do remember her telling me to make certain [to hide] the receipts. I said don't worry about that. She said, "No, believe me, wives look."
Alycia says: When he gave it to me, I assumed it was silver, which is a $114 necklace. To put things into context, I gave him a $60 coffeemaker . . . . But I looked at it and realized it was platinum, because never in a million years would I think somebody would buy me an $800 necklace. . . . I said, "I can't take this from you. This is platinum. Are you crazy?" And he said, "What are you talking about?" I said, "If I'm your wife I would kill you." I'm like, "You don't think Dawn [Stensland] is going to be pissed off about this?" He said, "No." He's like, "Oh, my God, relax!" And he made me feel silly, like I was assuming that it meant more than it did. And so I was like, "OK." I wore it a couple of times and that was it because I was uncomfortable with it.
THE FIRST KISS: He remembers a first kiss; she remembers the first unwanted advance circa Christmas 2004.
Larry says: I think we had an appearance and she needed to go to her apartment to get changed . . . and she asked me to drive her over there. I didn't want to be seen going into Alycia Lane's apartment and I thought that was the wrong thing to do, but this time I did go. . . . She was sitting across from me on the couch and we had talked about the fact she used to actually taunt me for not kissing her. . . . She said, "I'm going to do something to you, but I don't want you to do anything back." And I said "OK," and then she leaned over and kissed me.
Alycia says: He had a big truck and in-between shows he said that he would help me pick up a Christmas tree and bring it to my house. . . . We went to my condo, we dropped it off, and we were publicly seen walking in. I had no problem with that. . . . And as we were leaving, and as I turned around, he tried to kiss me. And when he tried to kiss me, to be quite honest with you, I did not know what to do.
I said, "What are you doing? You're married . . ." He said, "Oh, come on, it's just a friendly kiss." And I said, "A kiss is cheating, Larry. You're a married man." He said, "A kiss is not cheating. A kiss is just a show of affection between friends. Don't be ridiculous."