Law & Order (1990) Episode Scripts

N/A - Smoke

NARRATOR: In the criminal justice system the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups, the police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders.
These are their stories.
FEMALE WITNESS: Is he dead? DUNNE: What do you care? He's gotta be dead.
You want to join him? Someone said that he fell out of Monty's window.
Go home and watch the news.
What've we got? Trash can fire.
Hit the curtains.
How bad? Oh, they're coughing and talking.
They're fine.
A little shocked.
Is it really Monty? Sucking oxygen as we speak.
What am I gonna do? They all say they're okay.
Except for the one that can't talk.
He ain't my department.
Lennie, how are you? A beautiful end to a beautiful day.
Can't imagine.
Looks like we missed all the action.
What? We got a call there was a jumper.
Whoever said that took some liberties.
Why don't you fill us in? DOA.
Fell out of Monty Bender's hotel window.
Hit the mezzanine level.
Monty Bender the comic? My kid's gonna be pissed off I don't get an autograph.
Well, what happened? Somebody got tired of his routine and jumped? I don't think he had a choice.
There was some kind of fire in his room.
I saw Monty's last flick.
Cracked me up.
Yeah, very funny.
The flames traveled this way.
So he was trapped inside? That's why he moved over here.
Whoa.
I don't think my high school auditorium was this big.
Probably had less people spending time there.
Monty held the kid out here to keep him from breathing in smoke.
He was passed out right here when Ladder 88 arrived.
Why wouldn't they just go in there? (EXCLAIMS) Never mind.
This is where the fire started.
Somebody dumped an ashtray in here, and that's all she wrote.
Whose room is this? Monty's nutritionist.
Fred something or other.
I guess he forgot to read the warning on the side of the box.
SKINNER: He was in the suite with Monty and Birgit, his stylist.
What the hell is that? What do I know? They first saw the smoke come underneath the door.
Flames hit the curtain, then the carpet.
AC helped it spread.
What about the smoke alarms? Turns out they were all disconnected.
Monty didn't like the beeping when he burned his toast.
So you're thinking this is arson? A lit butt in a basket full of paper.
Too early to tell.
Where's Monty now? Down at Mercy General being sedated.
And Fred and Birgit? They're with the Fire Marshal.
We should bring them in.
I want to get cleaned up first.
Is he okay? They dragged him off to the hospital.
From what I hear, pharmaceuticals are helping him through it.
I can't believe Robbie's gone.
I don't know if Monty's heart can take this.
He wasn't well? He had a stress test.
They told him his heart was a time bomb.
So that's why he needed his very own nutritionist? You should've seen how he ate.
Pizza, cheeseburger, leftover Chinese.
Something wrong with that? You're not funny.
You know what strikes me funny? Somebody like you, who's all into health and whatnot would still be smoking.
I have maybe one a month.
When I'm tense.
And believe me, that one will be my last.
This is all my fault.
I don't know how he's going to live with himself after this.
You can't imagine how much he loved Robbie.
You were really close to him? I worked for him for the past five years.
Are all stylists on call 24 l7? Monty needs to project the right image.
What has this got to do with anything? No, I'm just wondering why everybody was in his room.
All three of us were playing with the baby.
And Fred smelled something coming from his room, and he opened the door, and you couldn't believe it.
It was like a fog of smoke.
We couldn't get out the door because of the flames.
Monty grabbed Robbie and tried to cover his face.
Birgit called down to security.
And what about the window? My eyes were tearing.
Birgit called out to Monty to open it.
Maybe that was the wrong thing.
Why do you say that? Because the smoke got thicker.
It was so thick.
Like fog.
We were all coughing, and it was hard to see.
So, you didn't actually see the baby fall out of the window? The baby was crying and gagging, and Monty was saying to him, "Be still.
It's going to be okay, Robbie.
" But Monty started coughing, and the baby just slipped.
What are we doing here? This is obviously a terrible accident.
I hate celebrity cases.
Oh, there's a TV movie in this.
I can smell it.
God help us.
I saw Monty's last movie.
Hey, some people said it cracked them up.
Barfjokes? You're kidding.
Anyway, until the arson people tell us different, this ain't nothing but a bad accident.
Well, how the hell did this baby end up out of a window? Monty was trying to keep him away from the fog of smoke.
Say what? That's what the nutritionist said to me.
That's the way these creative types talk.
Maybe.
But those are the same exact words that the stylist used with me.
And you don't think that's a coincidence.
Well, sure, it could be.
But it could also be that Monty told them what to say.
Why don't we get it straight from the horse's mouth? I promised him I would never let anybody hurt him.
And now You here to arrest me? ED: No, we're just trying to find out what happened.
He was crying.
There was smoke.
I sang to him.
He liked that.
(SINGING LULLABY) Maybe we ought to come back, Mr.
Bender.
I guess they have those smoke alarm things for a reason.
I'm going to hell, aren't I? Hey, you didn't know.
And I'm supposed to make people laugh.
Some joke, isn't it? Was there anybody else in the room with you when Fred and Birgit.
Just them? Yeah.
Why? You ever have any problems with either one of them? No.
They've been with me for years.
We're family.
Speaking of which, where's Robbie's mother? I don't know.
I adopted him a year ago.
Not what I expected.
Oh, give the guy a break.
He's in shock.
"Twinkle, twinkle, little star," while your place is burning down? I don't know.
Yeah, you're right, he should've done a few jokes.
The guy didn't know which way was up.
All I'm saying is, he was pretty quick on the trigger when we asked him who was in the room with him.
I'm just thinking maybe there's somebody in his entourage who didn't want to go along with that "fog of smoke" story.
Remind me again, what are we investigating? Potential arson.
Dead kid.
Monty moved in about a year ago, when the hotel business was down the toilet.
But his money spends pretty good.
In up times, we have a policy against rock stars, movie stars, almost anyone who attracts a crowd.
I gotta tell you though, Monty's been the perfect guest.
Polite, quiet.
Never a complaint.
He got a lot of people coming and going? Not as many as Eminem.
Business still isn't what it should be.
Anyway, Fred and Birgit have the adjoining rooms.
Harvey's never a problem.
Wait, who's Harvey? Masseur.
What, is there something wrong with him? I don't care what a guy does in his private life, but Harvey's never gonna be a starting linebacker for the Giants, if you know what I mean.
Yeah, I think I figured it out.
You're saying Monty's gay? Don't ask, don't tell.
But if I had his money, a guy named Harvey wouldn't be touching any part of my body.
And you tell me, if you were single and had Monty's money, would you adopt a kid? Would you happen to know if Harvey was around before the fire? Sorry.
Hold on.
The SOS from Monty's room came in at 10:17:02.
Harvey showed up looks like How can you tell? Big Brother is always watching.
Monty had me issue Harvey his very own key to the room.
Okay, okay, I was there, I was in the room.
But I showed up to give Monty his massage, but he was too busy playing with Robbie.
So you left? That's right.
That's the story you're sticking with? That's what happened.
Well, what was going on in the room before the baby fell? How would I know? I wasn't there.
You know what I think is odd, Harvey? One guy giving another guy the key to his hotel room.
And I told you, I work for Monty.
Yeah, I know, that's what you told us.
What are you implying? What do you think? Okay, I'm gay.
You happy? I'm thrilled.
But my relationship with Monty is purely professional.
Sure it is.
Which is why I'd be outta line to think that you and Monty were otherwise engaged when Robbie fell.
Monty isn't gay.
Harvey, help yourself out.
Talk to us.
This isn't about the fire, is it? This isn't about Robbie.
My contract has a non-disclosure clause.
I have to return everything he's paid me over the years.
Bad news.
That won't hold up in a criminal trial.
The good news is there's not that much to buy in Attica.
(EXCLAIMS) All right, man, we tried.
You want us to call your lawyer? Wait.
I haven't done it in years.
We know that.
But you'll be a lot better off if you tell us about it.
I was just the talent scout.
You expect us to believe that? I never touched those kids.
Okay, Harvey, start from the beginning.
I drove the truck.
What truck? Monty bought an ice-cream truck.
I drove it.
What did Monty do? He looked through the peepholes at the kids.
When he saw one he liked, I'd invite the parents up to his estate in the Berkshires.
And the parents would bring their kids? But I never laid a hand on one of them.
You trying to tell me the parents know what's going down? People get around fame and they get stupid.
Standing on line to see Madonna is stupid.
This is a felony.
So what exactly did the massage guy say that Monty was doing with the kids? They played.
Only he wasn't invited to see what game they were playing.
Any complaints about Monty before? Like I said, people get around fame and they get stupid.
They probably thought of it as an honor that the great Monty Bender chose their kid.
Or maybe they just didn't know.
Always the cockeyed optimist, huh? Listen, when it comes to parents offering up their kids for sex, yes.
Is this guy reliable? He looked too scared to lie.
How we doing on the dead baby? We haven't heard from the arson guys yet.
Well, if we can't get him on murder, pederasty is a pretty good second.
You just don't wake up one day and decide you like little boys.
Look, they say the only one who knows a comic is another comic.
LARRY: Guy walks into a bar with a thing.
BRISCOE: What thing? You don't get it.
It's one of Monty's old routines.
And that's funny? How much do you get a picture? Do I hear a little envy, Larry? Mr.
Miller.
I'm kidding, Ed.
God.
You got me.
Yeah, but you still don't get it.
Comics, we don't do what we do for the money.
What do you do it for? I can't speak for Monty.
But then again, I don't drive a stick.
Now that's funny.
It wasn't supposed to be.
Look, if Monty double parked again, I wasn't there.
I'm afraid it's a little bit more serious than that.
Littering? Little boys.
America's a wonderful place, isn't it? We love the underdog.
We cheer him on all the way up the mountain.
Then as soon as he gets to the top, we enjoy nothing more than kicking the son of a bitch off and stomping him into the ground.
The ones who are pedophiles, yeah.
Monty and I had a couple of drinks after a couple of shows a couple of decades ago.
And you became a couple? What, you went out and chased women? You know, good comics look at the world and see a funny place.
Great comics look at the world and don't.
I heard rumors.
What kind of rumors? I heard some kid accused him of inappropriate behavior.
Like using the wrong fork? I don't think Monty would pay seven figures to cover that up.
Then again, it's still a rumor.
Is there anybody who can verify that? Well, his old business manager used to be Marvin Fowler.
Now there's a guy you could chase women with.
Damn, I wonder what a $200 haircut looks like.
Kind of like a $400 carwash.
I believe they call that detailing.
I just got off the phone with the arson investigator.
He still hasn't determined if the fire was accidental.
I wonder if Monty accidentally wrote a million dollar check to Mr.
John Mireles on August 27th, 1997.
Mireles Mireles.
Wait a minute.
Yeah, Monty paid him a half a million dollars every August 6th.
All from his personal account, all for entertainment.
And I thought a Knicks game was expensive.
Allan Houston doesn't threaten to drag your ass to jail.
Talk to him.
I haven't thought about Monty in years.
Excuse me.
Any particular reason? Well, you know how this business is.
We're all like Gypsies.
You're like family for six weeks, and then you don't speak for six years.
You're an actor? A writer.
Monty's second picture.
Wait, you wrote The Wicked Stepson? Wow, I thought Monty wrote all his stuff himself.
Yeah, well, that's his image.
The auteur.
Sit down.
I wrote a script as a hobby and he bought it, lock, stock, and barrel.
What, as long as you didn't tell anybody? Anyway, the last time I saw him, he handed me a million dollar check.
I'm sorry, my son is ill.
You didn't offer them anything? ED: No, no, no.
We're fine.
How old is your son? Davey's almost six.
He's your only child? No, Sammy's 17.
He's a freshman at Hudson.
He must've gotten quite a kick out of his old man working with Monty Bender.
I don't think he even remembers.
If you don't mind me prying, why the 500,000 every year since? Royalties.
I'm sure we could have made more, but a bird in the hand.
ED: All right, you're Joe Citizen, right? A couple of detectives show up at your door asking questions.
What do you do? You mean after I flush my stash? Dude didn't even ask us why we were there.
This Monty thing's been all over the front page.
If it was me, I'd at least pretend to care about how he was holding up.
I think it's time to talk to Mireles son number one.
My parents? I don't really talk to them that much.
BRISCOE: My kid calls me all the time to tell me how much I screwed up her life.
I'm cool.
ED: You get wireless Internet on that, Sammy? Yeah, sure.
You mind? Free country.
Been wanting to get me one of these.
Oh, this is nice.
My parents do something wrong? No, we're just looking into Monty Bender, and their names came up.
Monty? What'd he do, make another crappy movie? BRISCOE: I think you know what he did, Sammy.
Huh? A little birdie told us that he's into some pretty weird stuff.
How would I know? I never even met the dude.
Look.
I gotta go, okay? Peace.
(PAGER BEEPING) The boy's a little off-center.
Show me a teenager who isn't.
Yep? All right, you got it.
It's the M.
E.
She wants to talk to us.
Every bone in his body was broken.
BRISCOE: Well, a 12-storey fall will do that.
The story is that Monty held him out the window because the room was filled with smoke? Uh-huh.
Something wrong with that? There's no smoke in his lungs.
Well, they said they had a towel over his head.
Young, pink lungs like his, really shouldn't make a difference.
There should be some indication.
Wait, hold on.
We saw the room.
Look, all I can tell you is this little guy may not have been in the room while it was burning.
BRISCOE: Because the baby was murdered, that's why.
That's crazy.
Why would Monty kill Robbie? That's what I want you to tell me.
But there's nothing to tell.
Damn it, a kid is dead! Did you miss the day in stylist school when they taught you that covering up a murder is just as bad as doing the murder yourself? What makes you think I'm covering? There was no smoke in the baby's lungs, which means he was dead before the fire.
Birgit, I can work with you now.
But later Okay.
Monty panicked.
He held Robbie out the window before the room was totally filled with smoke.
I hope that son of a bitch is paying you a lot.
All three of them have the same story.
That's what a large bank account gets you.
Van Buren.
You're sure? Thanks.
Well, that makes us 0-4.
Arson investigator says he can't conclude either way.
So this bastard's gonna walk? Maybe not.
I checked the web.
For what, millionaire perverts? No, I googled Sammy Mireles.
Don't ask.
Now, his name was all over this one website, upyourbutt.
Net.
Now, in a deposition from a civil suit against Monty Bender, he said Do I want to hear this? "Monty touched my penis with his mouth.
" The answer's no.
Pick him up.
Hey, funny man.
Can't this wait? No, it can't.
You should know better than anybody, timing is everything.
Monty Bender, you're under arrest for sexual abuse.
Hey, stylist, what should he wear to a felony trial? You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
You have the right to an attorney.
If you cannot afford one, one will be provided "Docket number 675834, "People v.
Montgomery Bender "Charge is Sexual Abuse in the First Degree.
" Shame on you.
The charges aren't just speculative, Your Honor, they're outlandish.
Mr.
Bender happens I know exactly who he is.
Then you'll know he's a target for any nut job who wants to put a couple of bucks in his pocket.
Can I take that as a not guilty? That's correct, Judge.
The People request remand, Your Honor.
That's a little harsh, don't you think? Considering you don't have a complaining witness.
The nut job in this case was 11 years old at the time of the illegal act.
It's understandable that he's a little hesitant.
Because nothing happened.
Bail is set at $1 million.
And you'll be happy to know, Mr.
Bender, that ten of those dollars are mine.
More, if you get a piece of the popcorn.
Next.
(BANGS GAVEL) What is it, Jack? "Go After the Rich and Famous Week"? The baby died.
It was an unfortunate accident.
But this sex thing looks an awful lot like a prosecutorial vendetta.
I'm just cleaning up a mistake made five years ago.
I already cleaned up that mistake.
And how much did it cost you? (SCOFFS) Being wealthy is a curse.
Look, to these people I was easy money.
Make up some fantastic allegation.
Sure, Monty'll pay rather than be ruined.
Your masseur told me about your adventures in an ice-cream truck.
Do you have any idea what kind of crowd would form if I sat in the front seat? I think you're missing the point.
Look, I'm gonna save you a little time here.
I like children.
They make me happy.
I like to make them happy.
But I don't do anything without their parents' approval.
I wouldn't hurt a child.
Before we get too excited, there is the little matter of the five years that have passed since the Mireles kid's allegations.
Turns out the bell on the statute of limitations rang three months ago.
That would be true if your client hadn't continued to pay the Mireleses for their silence.
That makes it an ongoing conspiracy to commit a felony.
It was an out-of-court settlement of a civil lawsuit.
There is no crime in that.
There is if the payment was to not file criminal charges.
And if you don't think a jury will buy that, you better take a refresher course in trial practice.
You're good.
But not good enough.
Before you start arguing jurisdiction, the annual payments were sent to the Mireleses right here in New York County.
My motion to dismiss.
Sammy Mireles' deposition was part of a sealed record.
It was on the Internet.
And how it got there, nobody knows.
The fact is, it wasn't legally.
Bottom line, it's not admissible.
Upyourbutt.
Net? I don't think that's what Bill Gates had in mind.
You gotta love the First Amendment.
It's not what you think.
That's comforting.
It's a website like The Smoking Gun.
People post facts, figures, theories about everything from the Kennedy assassination to vote counting in Florida.
In other words, not-for-attribution nonsense.
Only the facts we're talking about were uttered by Sammy Mireles under oath, in front of a court reporter.
Perhaps.
Upyourbutt.
Net is owned by RTQ Corp, which is owned by Parkman Technology, which is owned by F-Tel, a Fortune 500 company.
If it weren't true, don't you think Monty would've already filed suit for libel? The material in question was on a free-access Internet site.
It was available to the public, it was in plain view.
For any police officer who happened to be on a fishing expedition.
The detectives had reason to believe They were investigating the unfortunate and accidental death of my client's baby.
Can I talk? One of Mr.
Bender's employees told the police that he was in the habit of bringing young boys to his country home for illicit purposes.
Richard Gere, Tom Cruise, John Travolta.
All famous.
All subject to rumors.
Now, it's bad enough that a lascivious public feels compelled to involve themselves in such slander.
The state shouldn't be permitted to hop on board.
This is hardly a rumor, Your Honor.
It's a court document.
Which was sealed for a reason.
Then how did it get onto the Internet? That is the crux of my argument.
What is the purpose of sealing a document if any court employee with a perverse grudge can offer it up for all to see? The fact is, it's available to the public.
It should be available to the state.
To read, sure.
But not to use as evidence in my courtroom.
The document's out.
Which leaves the state with no evidence whatsoever against my client.
Mr.
McCoy? Given time That's what I thought.
Case dismissed.
I'm not surprised.
Excuse me? Oh, come on, Jack.
How can we trust anything on something called upyourbutt.
Net.
It was a legitimate court document.
Well, if it's legitimate, it was sealed for a reason.
An 11-year-old certainly has the right to keep the facts surrounding his molestation private.
He also has the right to go public if he wants.
You think Sammy posted the document? Somebody had to.
Man, why don't you people get off my back? I just have a few questions.
All of a sudden, Monty's a part of my life.
After what he did to you Man, he didn't do anything.
My father wrote his flick.
Somehow I doubt that.
Look, I know that you sued Monty for molesting you, Sammy.
What are you talking about? I read it on the Internet.
How did it I was wondering if you put it there.
Why would I do something stupid like that? Because it's tough keeping something like that inside.
Because now that you're older, you realize that Monty should be punished.
I don't need a shrink, lady.
He should be punished for he what he did to you.
I got over that a long time ago.
You were 11 when it happened.
I bet it was your parents Look, I don't know about your parents, but mine love me.
If someone laid a hand on me, my father would kill him himself.
So just leave me alone.
He's confused and angry.
I don't think he posted the deposition.
So testifying against Bender is out of the question.
I think he'd like it if it all went quietly away.
And the wheel goes round.
He's a kid.
He's allowed to be selfish.
But the parents aren't.
Monty was paying them, not Sammy.
They're part of the conspiracy.
You want to charge his parents for molesting him? I want someone to testify against Monty Bender.
Call Van Buren.
Oh, let me get my husband.
BRISCOE: That's a good idea.
What Lucy Mireles, you're under arrest for sexual abuse.
What? You have the right to remain silent.
Stop! You're hurting me! Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law.
You have the right to an attorney.
If you can't afford one, one will be What's going on? You like prison movies? I love them.
Write about what you know.
What are you talking about? You're under arrest for sexual abuse.
This is all a mistake.
Stay with Davey.
You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you do say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
They pled not guilty and are threatening to sue us for malicious prosecution.
Who's representing them? You're gonna love this.
Something tells me this isn't a coincidence.
Something tells me this is your attempt at leverage.
There was a civil suit between Sammy Mireles and Monty Bender.
You cannot turn this into a criminal case.
I guess we'll let a jury decide that.
They accepted money to keep this case away from the police.
That's not what happened.
Lucy, please.
Okay.
You get a gold star for creativity.
But you've still got a problem of evidence.
Sammy's not gonna testify.
Monty's not gonna testify.
The deposition was already tossed In the case against Monty.
He was a party to the civil suit.
Sammy's parents weren't.
Why do you want to ruin my son's life? If you agree to testify I guarantee that Monty Bender will accept a deal.
Sammy will never see the inside of a courtroom.
Well, that's a hell of an assumption.
JACK: I see where your loyalties lie, James.
I hope he's paying you more than he paid his masseur.
No case, start name calling, huh? Mrs.
Mireles, a horrible thing happened to your son.
From where I sit, this is not a tough choice.
Do you want justice for your son, or do you want to keep Monty Bender in the pedophilia business, with a nice hunk of his earnings coming your way? Then again, perhaps this is a tough choice for you.
But trust me, the D.
A.
's office is not going to let this go away.
Don't say a word, Lucy.
What? He offered to pay you more money? Bastard.
No, John.
Do you want to know why we took his money? Lucy.
Our youngest son, he's sick.
He was born with a deformed heart.
We didn't have insurance.
We couldn't pay the doctor's bills.
We had to take his money.
Davey would have died if we didn't.
What would any parent have done? (CRYING) So, Mrs.
McGillicutty had two boys.
One sat on the front porch all day, and the other one went out and did the hunting for food, for dinner.
The war between the states broke out, and one day the sarge showed up, knocked on the door and says, "I'm sorry, ma'am, "but I'm going to have to take one of your sons into battle with me.
"It's your choice.
" What did she do? It's hardly the same thing.
Well, she looked the old sarge straight in the eye, and without hesitating for a second, said, "You know, my husband's down by the fishing pond.
Take him.
" Now, that's natural.
That's human.
These people sacrificed one boy for the other.
At least they're both alive.
We're prosecutors, Serena, not social workers.
This is great.
I'm the only one in this room who doesn't have a kid.
Why am I the only one who understands the impossible position these people were in? The reason someone commits a criminal act is irrelevant.
You can't honestly say you wouldn't have done the exact same thing if these were your grandchildren.
I wouldn't have let my grandchildren play with a 35-year-old stranger.
Please.
They couldn't have known what would happen.
This wasn't parenting, it was monstrous indifference.
There's one kid dead.
Which, as far as we can tell, was an accident.
Besides, it had nothing to do with the Mireleses.
"Monstrous indifference.
" I like that.
We'd drive by schoolyards, playgrounds, places we knew kids would be.
In the ice-cream truck? That's right.
I'd sell the ice cream.
And what did Mr.
Bender do while you were serving the kids? He had this little compartment off to the side of the counter, and he had holes drilled into the side of the truck so he could watch.
The kids? Yes.
And what would typically happen after that? If there was a boy he liked, he would signal to me.
Then I would leave the truck and I'd get friendly with the parents, and I'd tell them that Monty would like to invite them and their son to his estate in the Berkshires.
Was Sammy Mireles one of these kids? Yes.
So you spoke to his parents? His mother.
And what did you tell her? That Monty liked to help out city kids.
That he wanted to give her son a weekend in the country.
Did she accept? Yes.
So the next weekend, I drove Mrs.
Mireles and Sammy up to Monty's estate.
Monty had this big meal ready.
Stuff all kids would like.
Pizza, ice cream, candy.
And then after, he took Sammy into his playroom, and I took his mom on a tour.
Did she express any concern whatsoever? No.
She seemed just happy to be out of the city.
What was in the playroom? Every game you could imagine.
Anything else? A bed.
Did you ever accompany Mr.
Bender and Sammy into the playroom? No.
So you never actually saw what when on? No.
So as far as you know, Sammy and Mr.
Bender may have actually played video games.
I guess.
Did Mrs.
Mireles ever set foot in the playroom? No.
Why wouldn't I go up there? It was dirty and hot and disgusting in the city.
So this was just a little getaway for the weekend? Yes.
Mostly for Sammy.
He begged me to let him go.
Did he want to go without you? That was out of the question.
My husband and I discussed it, and he said I deserved a little time away from our baby.
So you didn't see anything off-color in Mr.
Bender's invitation? Of course not.
He seemed like a nice man.
Famous.
I had no reason not to trust him.
So when did you first learn that Mr.
Bender allegedly touched your son inappropriately? The next morning.
I slept in a big guest bedroom.
Sammy slept in the playroom.
And what happened? I went looking for Sammy, and I couldn't find him.
He was locked in a bathroom.
I thought I heard him crying.
Did he tell you why? He said he didn't like Monty anymore.
He said Monty touched him in bad places.
And what did you do after that? I found Monty, and I asked him how he could do such a thing.
And when we got home, my husband said we should sue.
Now, you eventually dropped the lawsuit, isn't that true? Yes.
Sammy told us that things really didn't happen the way he said in his deposition.
It wasn't really that bad, he said.
He didn't want to follow through with the lawsuit, and that's when Mr.
Bender agreed to give us the money.
So you never went to the police.
I knew it was wrong, but our son Davey, the doctors said that he would need at least three operations.
We had no way to pay for it.
They said he would die if we didn't do something.
And Mr.
Bender's money paid for those operations? That's right.
Eight of them.
You didn't think it was strange that a man in his thirties wanted to play with your 11-year-old son? No.
Why would I? Who thinks about those things with someone like Mr.
Bender? I see.
Did you let Sammy walk to school by himself? Of course not.
Go to the movies? No.
A ball game? No.
Why not? Because something could happen.
A stranger might hurt him.
This was different.
Why? Because he's famous? Yes.
Because he's rich? We saw him on TV and movies.
We felt like we knew him.
I don't really see the distinction, but that's okay.
Now, you say you took the money to get medical treatment for your younger son.
Is that right? Yes.
And all you had to do was drop the suit and not notify the police.
What happened to Sammy happened.
There was nothing I could do about it.
I needed the money.
You needed the money? What about Sammy? Wasn't he the victim here? Tell me, where were you living when you first met Mr.
Bender? Spanish Harlem.
Where do you live now? Riverside Drive.
Certainly moving up in the world.
Objection.
Withdrawn.
What did your husband do for a living back then? He washed dishes.
And now? He goes to school.
So it appears that your sick son isn't the only one who benefited from Mr.
Bender's generosity.
We never would have touched his money if Davey didn't need it.
I see.
You're just collaterally venal.
Objection, Your Honor.
JACK: Withdrawn.
I was 11.
It was the greatest place I'd ever seen.
So you enjoyed yourself? Sure.
At first.
What changed? I mean, I had a great time.
Monty had every toy and game in the world.
We played until late.
And then what happened? I fell asleep.
That's not what you told your mother, is it? No.
GRANICK: Why were you locked in the bathroom crying? I had such a good time.
I thought about Davey, and I got sad.
Well, why didn't you tell that to your mother? Because I heard her cry herself to sleep every night about Davey.
I didn't want to make her sadder.
GRANICK: So you made up a story? In school they taught us to watch out for perverts.
It was the first thing I could think of.
Did you tell this to Detectives Briscoe and Green when they interviewed you? SAMMY: No.
A.
D.
A.
Southerlyn? No.
Why not? I don't know.
But you're telling it now because you don't want your parents to go to jail? That's what happened.
Did you ever tell your parents the truth? No.
I didn't want them to give back the money.
We needed it for Davey.
For Davey, I know.
If Monty actually did this stuff to me, why would I stay two more nights? We didn't leave until Monday night.
Hell, why not stay the whole week? I had school.
So you were having enough fun to miss one day, but not five? It was Labor Day weekend.
There was no school on Monday.
Did you ever receive any of Mr.
Bender's money? It was for Davey.
But you were going to college Your Honor, may I resume my cross tomorrow? JUDGE: Any objections, Mr.
Granick? No, Judge.
Court is recessed until tomorrow.
(BANGS GAVEL) When was the first check written to the Mireleses? August 27th, 1997.
Round them all up.
JACK: Okay.
I think everyone in this room has a right to know what's going on.
Jack, you're losing.
I'm the one who should be acting arrogant.
The weekend you spent at Bender's estate, you're sure it was Labor Day weekend? That's what I said.
You don't want to check your calendar? SAMMY: What's he talking about? While you're at it, you might want to explain perjury to him.
I know what it is.
I'm telling the truth.
No, you're not.
But that's irrelevant right now.
Sammy, your parents were paid a million dollars the week before you went up to Monty's estate.
No way.
Let's go.
SERENA: The check was dated August 27th.
Labor Day in '97 was September 1st.
That has nothing to do with anything.
You sold me? It wasn't like that.
What was it like? It was only one time, Sammy.
We did it for Davey.
What about me! I was 11 years old.
You knew what he was gonna do to me! You weren't going to die.
What do you call this? We'll talk about this later.
Like hell.
Can I testify again? He wanted to have a pillow fight.
JACK: Where were you? He called it the playroom.
It was fun.
Until? He kind of tackled me onto the bed and started rubbing me all over.
Did you tell him to stop? I was 11.
I didn't know what to do.
I didn't want to make him feel bad.
He kept telling me how much he loved me.
He rubbed my hair over and over and said that I was beautiful.
What else do you remember? There was, like, this tile ceiling.
I remember staring at it.
The way the light hit it, I could see stuff, like faces looking back at me.
So, I stared at the faces the whole time.
The whole time what? The whole time he did oral sex to me.
And after that? We had ice cream.
I saw my mother look into the kitchen.
I called out to her, but she wouldn't come in.
The next morning, when you told your mom what happened, what did she say? She told me to keep my mouth shut.
That this was our only chance.
She knew.
She set the whole thing up.
She knew exactly what he was gonna do to me before he did it.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, have you reached a verdict? Yes, Your Honor, we have.
On the sole count of the indictment, Conspiracy to Commit Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, how do you find? We find the defendants, John and Lucy Mireles, guilty as charged.
Monty was arrested, charged with sexual abuse, and denied bail.
All in front of a phalanx of paparazzi, I hope.
Phalanx and a half.
At last we have someone to testify against him.
Looks like being rich and famous doesn't get you as far as it used to.
The Mireleses knew it might come to this when they made their choice.
No, Jack, I don't think that they thought they were going to go to jail.
The one thing I can't get out of my head is that they did this to keep their kid alive, and now he's going to have to grow up without them.
He's better off.