Trial Chronicles Cont’d
Week II, Day 2
(Court is again in session and the plaintiffs’ lead attorney is about to speak.)
VSDS: Your Honor, I’d like to re-call Martina Hingis to the stand please.
Lifting up her head from the fluffy spot on Melanie’s hair where it had been resting, a self-assured Martina strides to the stand; after swearing in, she sits down.
VSDS: Martina, you testified last week that the defendant was responsible for your career-ending foot injuries.
Martina: Zhat is correct. She ran me off the court at 2001 US Open. My Sergio Tachinis couldn’t withstand all the frictzion, so by the time I was done playing, zhere were no zoles on the bottoms. I played in my bare feet the entire zecond zet.
[Anna K. and Lindsey exchange quick eye contact, then just as quick, they look away.]
(Tears begin streaming down Martina’s face and she uses one of her hands to wipe them away while the other drops below sight level. Lindsey, bolts up to the stand with a Kleenex that she had been using to dry her own tears, and hands it to a grateful Martina.
Martina composes herself; then, looking at Melanie who is suddenly stretching one of her legs out into the aisle, elevates her shoeless feet onto the ledge of the witness stand. There are numerous bandaids and strips of gauze on her soles and unhealed stitch marks at her ankles that, collectively, look like a New York City subway map.)
[The courtroom gasps in unison at the sight of Martina’s mangled feet.]
Judge Shriver: Order! Order! (Bangs her gavel several times) Order!
Order is promptly restored.
Judge Shriver: Ms. Molitor, any further coaching and I’ll have you escorted out of here and you’ll end up in that building across the street viewing these proceedings from a telephoto lens, just like Mr. Williams.
(Jennifer and Stefano, sitting a few space apart in the back row, chuckle at one another after reading comments each has sent to the other via cell phone text messaging regarding the amateur cheating tactics of Melanie and Richard.)
VSDS: No more questions, your Honor.
Judge Shriver: Counsel (to SITFB), your witness.
SITFB: So, Miss Hingis or is it Ms. Hingis? Better yet, Madam Hingis would suit you much better since you’ve done more business than the owner of a 42nd Street brothel.
Martina has an embarrassed look on her face now and a reluctant smirk is battling with her teeth for a place there, as well.
VSDS: (Half-heartedly) Objection.
SITFB: Work product, your Honor.
Judge Shriver: Sustained. Counsel may continue.
SITFB: You’re known for making controversial statements, aren’t you?
Martina: No. I’m very deeploma tick!
SITFB: Venus and Serena only get endorsements because they’re Black – Wimbledon 2001.
Martina: I was offering encouragement by pointing more sponsors in their direczion that way.
SITFB: Do you want to serve, or do you want me to break you?
Martina: I was being courteous. She had to know that I wasn’t going to lose.
SITFB: Maresmo is half a man – Australian Open 2000.
Martina: It was a high cumpleement. After all, which woman doesn’t have peenez envy. Zhere’s no ozher zensation like zhat one.
(There’s a lusty look in her eyes as she begins to describe what she means in greater detail.)
Martina: (continuing)It’s juz so eager to please and so…
(She licks her tongue over her top lip, then widens her eyes and abruptly ends the sentence.)
SITFB: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, there you have it: Anything is liable to come out of this witness’ mouth…I mean N-E thing. Think about that when you consider the validity of her testimony. Your Honor, no more questions.
Judge Shriver: You may step down, madam…Ms. Hingis, rather.
Martina puts her shoes back on and is now hobbling noticeably as she heads over to her seat beside a dejected Melanie. Lindsey, seemingly moved by Martina’s plight, jumps into action. She runs over and crouches down before her, offering Martina a ride on her back. Martina attempts to climb on, but Lindsey is up too high. Lindsey then gets down on all fours, but still is up too high. Finally, she lies prone on the courtroom floor. Martina gets on and is carried to her seating section. She pulls on Lindsey’s hair—like she would the reins on one of her horses—and Lindsey obliges, lowering herself to allow Martina to dismount.
The courtroom is in an uproar upon witnessing this spectacle. Anna K’s face turns bright evergreen and she deliberately collapses in front of one of the television cameras positioned to record her during the trial. From the sounds of their footsteps, she can tell that there are only a handful of devotees rushing to her side. Anna is incensed. She is later diagnosed with acute envy.
When order has been restored, Judge Shriver calls for a recess until 2 PM.