On October 4, the gang rape civil case against NBA star Derrick Rose and two of his friends will go to trial.
On Tuesday evening, Jane Doe, the alleged victim, spoke with ThinkProgress over the phone for approximately 90 minutes. She spoke about her family, her dreams, her relationship with Rose, the impact the alleged assault has had on her life, and why her anonymity is so important to her.
Her lawyers, Brandon Anand and Waukeen McCoy, and Katherine Redmond Brown, founder of the National Coalition Against Violent Athletes, were also present on the call, and their contributions to the conversation have been noted below.
In the course of the interview, Anand revealed that during his deposition, Rose was unable to define the word “consent.”
Doe, who dated Rose non-exclusively for two years, alleges that in the early morning of August 27, 2013, Rose and two of his friends trespassed into her apartment and proceeded to gang rape her while she was unconscious. She is seeking $21.5 million in damages.
The litigation has been very contentious between both sides. They don’t agree on much, but they do agree that Rose and the alleged victim met in 2011, dated for a couple of years, and officially broke up in the summer of 2013 after (but not necessarily because) the alleged victim refused to have group sex with Rose. Then on August 26, 2013, she reached out to Rose and he invited her to a party at his house. She arrived for said party with a friend around 9:00 p.m. in a car that Rose provided, and left in a taxi around midnight.
The two sides disagree whether she was drugged at his house, whether she had sex with Rose’s friends at his house, whether or not she let Rose and his friends into her apartment later that night, and whether or not she consented to have sex with all three of them.
Until this week, Doe has not talked to the media, and all that was known about her was what is available through court filings and salacious TMZ headlines, such as “Derrick Rose Accuser Consented to Group Sex … Mad Over Sex Toy” and “Derrick Rose to Rape Accuser: You’re No Prude, You Hooked Up With Nick Young.”
Her allegations have not been proven in a court of law, and Rose and the co-defendants have denied the allegations vehemently. Rose’s lawyers have described the suit as a “desperate [attempt] seeking to tarnish Mr. Rose’s public image in an effort to extract a large extortionate payment from him.”
The following is her side of the story.
The court filings go into detail about how the anxiety you have suffered since the alleged assault has impacted your life. But can you tell me a little bit about yourself and who you were before all of this? What was your life like?
Before all this I was very independent and very competitive. I would always keep myself busy with both work and school. I was always trying to prove myself to my parents. They’re very traditional and cultural, and they’re big in religion and they had strict gender roles.
My mom has always been a stay-at-home mom, they’re very domestic. My father has been the opposite. He’s been the one that is working 24/7. So I always wanted to be able to do both roles. To be able to one day take care of them because I am the youngest child and that is my responsibility.
I would go out of my way to be strong and to be secure and just be able to be equal to a man, and that’s how I was always. And my parents know that and my brothers and sisters know that. There was a lot of communication going on back and forth about this because nobody else had tried to be independent.
All my brothers and sisters got married really young and stayed near my parents, and stuck really to the tradition and culture. So, everything that I was doing was new to my family.
“Before all this I was very independent and very competitive. I would always keep myself busy with both work and school. I was always trying to prove myself to my parents.”
So you were the independent spirit of the family, and you moved to Los Angeles to build a career and a life for yourself. Is that when you met Rose?
I was in L.A. [beginning in] 2009, and I met Derrick in 2011, so I had already been there for a couple of years when I met him. I had worked at the airport, and at that moment I had work at a property management company and I had just attended school for one semester.
I was still traveling to [my hometown] every two weeks to make sure my parents were okay, my mother was okay, because it was really hard for her to deal with my move, and that was my top priority, just making sure her needs were met even though I chose to move to L.A. When I met Rose, he understood that. I spoke to him about that. I had just arrived from seeing my family when I met him.
He knew every time I would go back to see my family, and he spoke a lot about his family, how close he was with his mother. We had that in common. I related to him. His responses were similar to my responses when it came to family and what we cared for.
Did you know who he was when you met him?
I knew he was an athlete. There were a lot of people around him, but there were a lot of other people in Hollywood that night. It was an event where I met him. He was only one person that was there; there were other people hosting that event too. I knew he was someone, but I didn’t know he was Rose or the NBA player.
He approached you that night?
Do you have any good memories of the relationship?
Yeah, he was very shy and that drew me in because I’m very shy as well, so when it comes to a personal relationship or when we’re getting to know each other I’m the same way. I kind of saw myself in a reflection of him. We were very similar in many ways, and like I said before, he was very close to his mom. I remember he was attentive, too.
“He knew every time I would go back to see my family, and he spoke a lot about his family, how close he was with his mother. We had that in common.”
Your relationship has been described as “non-exclusive” in court documents. Did you want to be exclusive or were you happy just doing your own thing?
Well, I was working at the moment and I was still traveling to see my family, and he was in L.A. because it was during the lockout, so he had a home there. And every time we would see each other we would see each other in L.A. There was no pressure from me. He was the initiator. I never really, you know, made anything happen. He was the one who would invite me out or ask me to come around or send someone for me.
When he was doing that I thought I was being exclusive with him because we would see each other so often and he wasn’t working at that moment and the only times I wasn’t around was when I was in [my hometown] or when I was working.
Then he went back to Chicago. Is that when things changed?
Yeah, the end of 2011 and beginning of 2012, that’s when he had to start work again, and that’s the first time he left. He sent me a computer in order for me to initiate the Skyping, and I started an account to be able to communicate with him. So that’s how we were communicating mainly since he was working.
What were those Skype conversations like?
The first times I would Skype him it was, you know, just regular conversation. If he would Skype me later in the day, that’s when he would pressure me to either do stuff like take my clothes off or show myself on camera without my clothing and just touch myself, just do stuff to myself, and that was very uncomfortable for me.
“He would pressure me to either do stuff like take my clothes off or show myself on camera without my clothing… and that was very uncomfortable for me.”
I was not used to Skyping, period, and then being asked to do those things, it became very, very uncomfortable. I’d never had a long distance relationship. Everything prior to Rose was either a long relationship and they were in the same city, so I’d never had to deal with people asking me to do things. That became very uncomfortable and we eventually stopped Skyping. I wouldn’t return his Skype calls, or I would make excuses about why we couldn’t Skype, I would say my internet was out, or for some reason I couldn’t get on camera.
During this time period did you consider him your boyfriend? Was it still exclusive? Or did that change when he went back to Chicago?
Once I wasn’t returning his Skype calls, the communication was less from him. I was never the one calling him; I never was the one trying to reach out to him. It was all him, if he would reach out to me, we would talk.
So when he stopped reaching out to me as often as he did, that’s when I knew something was wrong, or maybe we weren’t going to be in an exclusive relationship.
You guys broke up in June 2013, but that August, the day of the alleged gang rape, you were the one to reach out to him, is that correct?
Yes. I knew he was in town. I don’t remember if we had spoken prior to that… but when I texted him I had a feeling he was in town, so that’s the only reason I did text.
That’s really the first time in our relationship I tried to reach out to him and not the other way around. That night I did text him. He texted me back surprised — he was shocked I was even reaching out to him.
He ended up inviting you and a friend over to his house. What were your expectations for that evening?
I was very nervous because I didn’t know. I didn’t know how he would react to me. I just wanted to be able to speak with him and see if he — we ended on bad terms, and I wanted to see if that was because we weren’t communicating and we weren’t face-to-face anymore and he couldn’t Skype me and have that communication with me.
I wanted to see him in person, face to face, and see if he still was the person that I initially met and had a relationship with, or if he just felt differently for me, or if he never felt that way. I was trying to answer all of these questions. I felt that night was going to be the night where I’d know, okay, we’re not going to be together going forward, or we’re just going to remain friends.
Why were you holding out hope that you might get back together? What did you miss about your relationship?
I liked him and I had feelings for him. I always felt like the situation that led us to not talk to each other anymore was so awkward. I didn’t understand it, it was so confusing to me. I didn’t feel like it was him; I felt like it was something he was dealing at the time, or something where his friends had some type of influence on him, so I never felt like that was the — the person I stopped talking to was not the person I initially had met, not the person I cared for and had feelings for. I missed the Derrick that I met.
“The person I stopped talking to was not the person I initially had met, not the person I cared for and had feelings for.”
Is the incident you’re referring to when he got mad that you wouldn’t come over and have group sex with him in June of that year?
Yeah, that was in the beginning of that summer.
So you were confused as to why he had gotten so upset at that point and broken things off?
Yeah, I was. I was confused and I was hurt. That wasn’t who I remembered at all. I knew what type of person he could be and what type of person he was when we were seeing each other face to face and seeing each other often, and I just felt like if I spoke to him and we did see each other and hang out like we used to before, it would just go back to that same type of relationship that we had.
The day of the party (August 26, 2013) you initiated contact with Rose and sent him some sexually explicit text messages. You then told him that you were going to buy a sex belt and bring it to his house that night.
However, during your deposition, you admitted to lying in those text messages, particularly about the purchasing of the sex belt, which you already owned. What prompted you to send those texts?
I started out sending him a picture and then he took the lead from that part. I was responding the way I thought he would want me to respond. He knew that’s not normally how I respond. This time I was actually telling him things that I thought he would want to hear.
I was using similar words that he uses, his slang. I started using that, so that chain of messages is completely different from how we used to communicate and my prior messages to him. It was all about trying to find a connection again, and I felt that was what he wanted to hear basically.
“This time I was actually telling him things that I thought he would want to hear.”
When he said to Skype him again or send him a video, because I told him I’d be in the shower, I said my phone wasn’t working and my computer wasn’t working. That was a lie. At that time I was like, he’s going to know I’m lying, that’s what I was thinking in my head, because this has happened before, I’ve told him the computer isn’t working, the phone isn’t working.
He asked me for the videos, I think, four times. I was lying that things weren’t working — I’d think he’d want to hear things, but I still wasn’t going to send him a video of myself touching myself naked. And he never received anything from me like that.
So with the sex belt, he asked me to surprise him with something, and I immediately thought I would bring a belt and that would make him just happy and interested. I knew the belt was [in my apartment] … [it] was just a gift because my friend was promoting the belt and he was promoting them at the event and he just went ahead and gave me one and gave everyone else in the event one. Mine was literally hanging on a hanger in my room with the tags on and everything, so I was like — oh, I’ll give it to him as a gift. I didn’t want him to know that it was already here. So that’s where that came from. And when I took it over to his house, I was really nervous. I didn’t even give it to him.
He knew I was that same girl. I could see him, he was looking at me like, he knew I’m super shy. I didn’t bring the belt out; I just hid the belt in the bathroom when I went to use the restroom and it just stayed there.
So you just wanted to be able to see him in person so you could get some sort of closure on your relationship?
Since people don’t know you, they base their entire perceptions of you off of those texts. How does it feel to have all of those texts released in the media?
It’s been hard because all my life I’ve been very careful and the opposite of that… All my life I’ve been this person, and then just that fast something can turn that whole perspective that everyone had of me into this other perspective, and I just — it was really hard to know that that can be something people might think of me.
“It’s been hard because all my life I’ve been very careful and the opposite of that.”
But I know the people that know me, including Derrick, know exactly who I am and everyone that’s close to me knows what type of girl I am, and when I actually sat there and Derrick was being deposed — I was listening to every single thing he said, and he never said anything that was being said [in the media]. I was like, I know he knows what type of girl I am, and I was so confused. I didn’t know if these articles were coming out, who was saying this, who was saying that, or if it was all being fixed by the attorneys.
A lot of the text messages that came out first were from a roommate that I had, those were completely taken out of context, they weren’t even pertaining to the case. That was the first article I reviewed of the case was when my roommate placed those text messages out there.
Why did she do that? Did you expect that?
I never expected that from her even though we weren’t friends at the moment. She was living with me, and from the moment I rented her the room it went from a friendship to a landlord/tenant situation.
There were a lot of factors for why we weren’t friends at the moment, but I never expected her to turn around and do something like this, regardless of everything going on, because I helped her out by letting her staying there. She needed a place to stay, otherwise she had no place to stay. That’s why we ended up living together.
“I never expected that from her even though we weren’t friends at the moment.”
Did she know about the alleged rape? Had you guys talked about that?
Yes. She was one of the first people that I spoke to, and at the moment I spoke to her we weren’t roommates — she was only my coworker at that time — and I spoke to her and another coworker of mine about what happened and she was very understanding and she tried to console me and she even told me about another similar situation that she was aware of.
What do you remember about the night of the alleged rape? I know that at a certain point you lost memory.
[At this point, McCoy interrupted and recommended that due to the upcoming trial, Doe should only speak about the night in general terms.]
I started blacking out shortly after I arrived. It was in flashes. I remember burning my hand. I remember being at the fence where the gated yard was, which was very high up, and trying to throw the gemstones over the fence. That’s mainly the last thing I remember before I started completely blacking out. I only remember from that point on music and yelling. I do remember the pool and being pushed out of the house by one of Rose’s friends, I remember just being pushed out of the taxi.
“I started blacking out shortly after I arrived.”
From there I remember being in my apartment and throwing up and just trying to not throw up again, and then waking up just to the room being upside down and not being able to find my purse and having my clothes on and having a lot of… there was a lot of lubricant and the bed was wet. But I don’t remember much. Like, I don’t remember details.
When did you start to piece it together? What was your initial reaction when you realized something bad might have happened?
When I first woke up and I had my clothes on and everything I was very confused because I was — I just felt I was still dreaming, like I didn’t realize it was the situation I was in. And then the phone started ringing and was continuously ringing, and it was my girlfriend, who I had been with the night prior. And I was not trying to answer the phone; I was trying to see what had happened. I immediately texted Derrick and then I looked for my purse, and I jumped in the shower.
I felt very confused because I had never blacked out and I feel like I’m a strong person, like I would not black out, like that’s not me, that’s not what happens to me, that’s not what I deal with. I’m the opposite of that, I’m the one that takes care of people.
I was confused and did not even want to believe that was the situation I was in, and I’m always really —I know where everything is. Not knowing where my purse was at, not remembering things was really a scary feeling. I felt like something happened. It was a very confusing feeling and I felt sick still, I couldn’t even keep water down. I had never felt that way before. It was just a lot of confusion and embarrassment at the same time. And I had to rush too. Everything was so quick because I had to go to work and I was late to work and I couldn’t find anything, I didn’t know where anything was at, and I was rushing into the shower and I was not able to eat, not able to really do anything. My palm was, where I burned myself it was creating a bubble, so when I was rushing to get to my car I had trouble driving.
“I couldn’t even believe that was what had happened. I was just trying to erase that.”
When I got to work, I immediately went and told my coworker that I wasn’t going to be able to do the task that I usually do that day because I didn’t feel good at all. So I had to explain the situation that I was in, and he immediately understood what I was trying to say without saying it. I didn’t want him to know; I didn’t want to feel like I was weak and like I was the victim and like my body failed me. I didn’t want to feel like that person. And I never was — I was the total opposite of that. I couldn’t even believe that was what had happened. I was just trying to erase that.
When did you start using the word “rape” to describe what happened to you?
I didn’t recognize it early on. I didn’t know that situation would be an actual rape because I was just so confused and I didn’t want to believe it and I didn’t want to talk to anybody about it and I didn’t want to remember that’s what happened. Once I started talking to my first attorney, he started to make me feel like, okay, this is what it was, this is what happened. He validated everything and was telling me, yeah, this is rape. But before I even go to him I still didn’t feel like I knew exactly what had happened. I knew it was really bad but I didn’t recognize it as what it was.
Is it hard to think of yourself as a victim?
Yeah, it is because it makes me feel like the fact that I blacked out — how can I trust myself to do anything? I don’t know that I drank that much and that those drinks made me black out — or I didn’t know that my body could black out.
Waking up and not knowing is the scariest thing. It’s scarier than thinking about what could have happened, just knowing that your body could black out is very, very scary.
“Waking up and not knowing is the scariest thing.”
How do you prevent any girl from being raped, any girl from being blacked out? How do you prevent that? These are things I think about all the time that I never thought about before because I really believed that if you were doing the right thing and you were living correctly that those kind of things didn’t happen to you. That your body doesn’t do that unless you’re not taking care of yourself. But when it happened to me it was almost me trying to figure out, what did I do wrong that my body could black out? What did I do? I know I ate that day. I still couldn’t understand how stuff like that would be possible.
What made you seek out your first attorney?
I was getting calls from Derrick’s friends, and one of the calls came in when I was with one of my friends. She advised me — she said you need to talk to someone. She reached out to [a lawyer] that was a family member of hers, so that person… would actually give me advice and talk to me.
Every time prior to that, everyone was telling me to talk to the police, but that wasn’t something I was willing to do at the moment. So when she said she would just speak to me and just give me advice, that made me feel comfortable. And I was able to speak to her family member that was an attorney, and she referred me to a person that she knew, and when we met in person I just felt comfortable because they told me I didn’t have to go to the police.
Why didn’t you want to go to the police?
I didn’t want to go to the police, because I felt that as soon as I go to the police they’re going to make me write all this paperwork where my name will be there and they’re going to start contacting people and somehow word will get out and I’ll have to deal with everything. I didn’t want for anyone to know. I wanted to be anonymous. And I didn’t really feel like talking to the police about it. I was not sure what they would do. I wasn’t sure about what would happen if it did come out, but I knew it wasn’t going to be good.
“I didn’t want for anyone to know. I wanted to be anonymous.”
Two years passed between the alleged assault and the filing of the civil suit. What was the reason for the delay, and what motivated you to come forward?
At that time I think we still didn’t know how far we could go without my name being released, so we were just going slowly.
I didn’t want to deal with it. I wanted to go back to school because that was the only thing at that point I cared about — my work wasn’t working well, I got fired shortly after [the alleged assault] and when I tried to get a new job, I didn’t pass the probation period. It was the same kind of feedback I got from my previous employer — my performance suffered, and I was taking personal calls constantly and making personal calls on the company phone. I was spacing out at work a lot. I wanted to go back to school, and I told my attorney that I wanted to go back to school and if my name was going to be released at any point that I just wanted to put a hold on everything.
I was just waiting for him to tell me that everything would be okay for filing, that I would only be contacted when it was necessary and otherwise I wouldn’t have to deal with it. And I allowed them to handle everything as long as I knew my family wasn’t going to find out. So they figured out the perfect time to file that and how I would remain anonymous. I just let them handle it.
[Her lawyer, Anand, added in a follow-up email that “whether to proceed civilly or criminally was not a strategic decision but rather the product of the two different statute of limitations (2 years for civil and 6 years for criminal). If the lawsuit was not filed when it was, Ms. Doe would have been forever barred from pursuing a civil remedy. With criminal conviction rates for rape charges as low as they are, that likely meant that she would never receive any semblance of justice, Defendant Rose would never be held accountable, and other women would not be given encouragement to come forward.”]
Why is anonymity so important to you?
It’s very important for me because of my family. I want to keep this away from my mother and father mainly, and possibly the rest of my family members.
I come from a big family and although my parents are only Spanish speaking, anything can spark the interest of my nieces and nephews and brothers and sisters. It could come back to my mom, who right now is very ill and dealing with a lot of health issues. I wouldn’t want any stress on her, and I wouldn’t want anything affecting her or affecting my father.
They’re elderly and I’m a part-time caregiver for my mother, so it’s very important for me to do everything I can to make sure that my family’s needs are met and they’re still in good standing and have no stress or pressure placed on them.
“I want to keep this away from my mother and father mainly, and possibly the rest of my family members.”
A lot of people don’t understand that. They think it’s suspicious to keep things from your family. Why is it so important to protect them from this?
My mom is sick, she’s in a wheelchair and she’s older; she’s 71 and my dad is 82. I am the youngest in my family. There’s a gap between me and my brothers and sisters. I’m the one who is around my family the most, who has the responsibility of taking care of my mother. Her health is priority to me, and also to my family.
This would weigh heavily on my mother, and it would definitely have an affect on her, and that would in turn impact all of us.
What were your expectations when you filed last year? Were you expecting the media attention and the TMZ headlines?
No, I wasn’t expecting it. I didn’t expect them to know who I was at all or to have my picture or my name. I knew there was going to be media attention, but I didn’t know there would be anything personal with my details that would be released.
The only thing that was personal released was through my roommate, so I don’t think that was because of the filing, that was just because of her.
Even with your anonymity, there have still been so many accusations about you in the public sphere. Have those impacted your day-to-day life at all?
It has affected me. When there’s people staring at me and looking at me, that’s the first thing that comes to mind: Do they recognize me? Do they know about the case? And I also feel, when those stories come out, I’m worried that maybe my nieces read it.
“That’s the first thing that comes to mind: Do they recognize me? Do they know about the case?”
Just being alert, all the time, and always thinking about whether someone is going to find out, especially back home. Just that thought alone is very uncomfortable.
I don’t feel confident going to interviews or going to apply for anything, whether it be an internship or anything, I always think, what if they do see something? That would be the most uncomfortable and embarrassing situation to be in to have someone approach me in that kind of setting when I’m trying to work or start a career and have someone come up to me with that information.
It has prevented me from doing anything else other than school. I feel safe with school. All my focus is with school, I’m kind of far from home, and kind of far from where everything happened, so I feel like I’m safe where I’m at right now, but I do have those concerns every time I do come visit my family.
How do you respond to the claims by Rose’s attorney that you are a gold digger, that you’re only doing this for money?
McCoy: Let me see if I can answer that question. Basically if you read the testimony of Mr. Rose, he clearly doesn’t indicate that she’s a gold digger or out for his money; they dated for a year and a half almost two years, and if he thought that he would have said it in his deposition or mentioned it somewhere else. So this is a manipulation of facts by his lawyers. It didn’t come from him or the other two defendants. So all I can say is the response is, these accusations are coming from his lawyers.
Doe: When I was sitting in Derrick’s deposition, I was listening very clearly to everything he was saying. He never addressed anything or mentioned anything of that sort. And they know. He knows. I never asked for anything. The computer or whatever dates we went to, I never asked him for one thing at all. He knew exactly what type of person I am, so I never thought that was something that was put out by him.
Anand: I absolutely agree with [them] that Derrick couldn’t follow along with the coaching he was given and this was coming from the attorneys.
But the whole argument is bad logic because it says celebrities or wealthy people can’t commit crimes. The public has in mind that the civil realm is not the pursuit of “justice,” but that’s flawed reasoning because the conviction rate for people charged with rape is very, very low, and often the only form of justice you have is the civil realm.
Redmond Brown: I agree with that fully. And this is the first time I have ever heard her speak at all about any of this, and as she’s speaking, there really needs to be an understanding of this sports culture and what they understand relationships to be.
There’s this culture of being able to have a female in multiple cities and you’re not exclusive with them, and they are going to ask you to do these things because they do have the power and status to do it, and nobody tells them no. Nobody tells them no. And so when you hire sex workers, when you get into pornography, when you do all this stuff, that becomes normal, and that becomes what is a relationship to them.
So going a civil route over her filing a police report — I deal with trying to file police reports against athletes all the time. That doesn’t happen. So in listening to all of this, and in terms of even the gold digger thing, that’s definitely lawyer-speak terminology, when you have nothing else to go on.
I’m actually interested in what they think consent is. I’d love to ask them, what is consent? I don’t think they could answer that.
Anand: I can say actually that Derrick definitely could not, because we asked him that question in his deposition, and his response was, ‘No, can you tell me?’
Redmond Brown: It’s why Derrick could honestly, if you made him pass a lie detector test, he could pass it. Because he doesn’t see what he did as wrong. That is simply how his culture functions.
McCoy: I want to talk about criminal vs. civil case. The standards are different. The investigator wants to make sure they have a tight case before they charge anyone. Because he’s a high-profile athlete, they want to make sure all their ducks are in a row. Their standard is beyond a reasonable doubt, instead of a civil case where it’s preponderance of the evidence. It’s not that he’s out of the woods on the criminal case. It’s just that they want to see how the evidence comes out in the civil trial, then they can act. It’s not over in the criminal realm, they just want to make sure their case is airtight.
Anand: The detective is still on the case, it’s never been presented to the D.A. at all, the DA has not rejected the filing, they have not actually gotten it yet. So we will see what they do. I don’t practice in the criminal round, but it seems that the L.A. D.A. is especially reluctant to file these cases, because of the past, the O.J. case, the smear on them and they want to make sure they’re going to win before they file.
What is your life like today? How has it changed since the alleged assault?
I wanted to be closer to home, and now I am, I’m just an hour and a half drive away in San Francisco. My life has been more focused on my family and understanding everything that I used to fight against. Understanding why my mom and my sisters decided to be a stay-at-home moms and why I decided to be independent. It’s been a huge learning experience for me.
“I have a lot of nightmares. I have a lot of self-doubt when I do have to be in a social setting.”
Every time I’m in school I’m staying super busy, and I’m doing that on purpose, to keep myself focused on that and not to be so affected by what happened and by the case. But it does still come to me whenever I am trying to fall asleep, and whenever I don’t have my books or my family in front of my face. I have a lot of nightmares. I have a lot of self-doubt when I do have to be in a social setting, just not knowing how far I can go. I don’t want the same situation to happen again, so I am much more cautious.
And I do think about my family a lot more, especially my nieces, and fear that something might happen to them, and fear for my own unborn children. If I have a girl, how is that even possible to prevent? How is that something that I can stop from happening?
But I never — I think I’m more scared for others than I’m scared for myself, and that’s why I try to focus and stay busy with school so it won’t be so overwhelming, where people might be able to tell, especially my family, so that they can see what’s going on. And that’s mainly been what I’ve dealt with since then.
“I think I’m more scared for others than I’m scared for myself.”
Has it impacted your dating life?
I haven’t been able to meet someone — I’m not thinking about meeting someone to date. No, I don’t date, and I haven’t had someone close to me of the opposite sex. It hasn’t happened. Yeah, I’m busy for school, but I haven’t been able to see myself in a relationship.
I feel safer close to my family. I don’t have those thoughts of wanting to move away now, which I did before, I wanted to move and travel and live in Mexico and here or there. Now I want to be near them, and I feel that there is a need to have your dad be so strict, and [I understand] why my brothers are strict as well. They’re so far apart in age — they’ve always been like second parents to me. Now I am glad that they are like that, but before I complained about that because I had little freedom and agency because I was the youngest.
Now I appreciate the way they were with me. I don’t look down upon the role my mother has as a woman anymore. I don’t feel like she’s being weak by staying home and being devoted to my father and my family. That has changed.
“No, I don’t date, and I haven’t had someone close to me of the opposite sex.”
Is there still part of you that wants some independence?
Well, at school, I got my degree in [humanities]. Originally, I was in school for business. When I decided to go back to school, I wanted to learn as much as I could about community and how to help others, and find a purpose for myself, and not just… [At this point, Doe breaks down crying.]
I think prior to this situation I was kind of being selfish, being independent trying to be on my own and provide for myself and be equal to a man and all of these things, and now it’s like I value every single thing my family has done and I want to help out in the community and help my sisters out with their kids. That’s what I went back to school for, to learn and add to that understanding that I have and figure out how to get back.
And that’s my interest now. Like I said before, I did have all of these things that I wanted to do, but I felt I was being selfish and now I understand that was not correct and based on, I would say, just this understanding of a safe world and how to live in a safe world. But now, it’s like, there’s things that can happen. And there’s reasons people are pessimistic.
Are you working now?
I finished my B.A. degree and I picked up a minor right before I finished, so I’m on my last semester for my communications minor.
“Now I’m a victim, now I have to walk around with a “damaged” label, being broken and this and that. You don’t want that.”
What would you say to other victims who are thinking of stepping forward?
I would just tell people that they’re able to come forward without having to endure the more suffering and more worry and pain from their identity being revealed. That’s what I really want them to know, that they can come forward without having to be at the mercy of everyone and be able to speak about what happened and have a voice.
Because it is a very — it’s such a huge and bad experience, you don’t want to even attach yourself to that. I don’t know how to explain it. But it’s almost like, you want to be able to say something without having to be out there viewed as the victim.
I think people stay silent because they don’t want to have to deal with everyone finding out, like, hey, this happened to you, now I’m a victim, [cries], now I have to walk around with a “damaged” label, being broken and this and that. You don’t want that. Who can deal with that on top of everything that happened?
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
UPDATE: Rose’s lawyers responded to a request for comment via email on Thursday afternoon. They did not deny that during his deposition, Rose did not not know the definition of consent.
“Mr. Rose is confident that the evidence on plaintiff’s consent will be clear once all the facts are heard. The plaintiff consented to sex each and every time they had sex during their twenty month relationship, including on the night that is the focus of this lawsuit,” Mark D. Baute wrote.