February 16, 2000 10:16am
Hollywood Madam Trial Starts Friday
by: Christian Boone
(LOS ANGELES, CA) -- The trial of an alleged Hollywood madam will begin Friday, and the defense is threatening to destroy the lives of her famous clients by revealing their names in court.
Defendant Jody Diane Gibson's attorney plans a full-frontal assault on the prosecution's "star" witnesses, five former employees of Gibson, who is charged with 11 counts of pimping and pandering.
Gerald Scotti, best known for representing luxury car magnate John DeLorean, says "Babydol" Gibson didn't employ them as prostitutes, but as actresses in the adult films she produces.
"She knows a lot of famous people"
"They've been prostitutes for a long time, and their claim that she solicited them for prostitution is totally bogus," says Scotti, who will file a motion to dismiss the case. If unsuccessful, he makes no secret of his plan to discredit the women, who claim they were procured for the rich and famous through Babydol.
Though Scotti says there is no "little black book, per se," he confirms the public would "absolutely" be familiar with some of the names linked to the alleged prostitution ring.
"She knows a lot of famous people," says Scotti, adding his client also works as a singer and talent agent. He further hinted that one of these "people" is a Fortune 500 executive.
Scotti says he is unsure whether he will reveal these names in the trial. "I'm not into destroying people's lives, but if I find it necessary as the trial goes on to prove my client's innocence then I would absolutely do so," he says.
Hypocrisy in enforcement alleged
The names are in sealed court files. Scotti says he believes it is "hypocritical" to reveal the names of the women allegedly involved while protecting the men's identities. "Men are equally culpable," he says, "but they only go after the women."
Gibson was arrested last June in a sting operation involving three police officers; one, a female, allegedly offered to work for Babydol as a prostitute, while two male cops went undercover soliciting girls from the suspected madam.
Gibson makes her home in central California, though she was arrested in a Van Nuys hotel, "which is where she conducted business," says Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the district attorney's office.
Babydol faces up to 23 years on prison if convicted of all counts, though Scotti labels the case against her as "weak." He points to the "star witnesses" asserting their Fifth Amendment rights not to incriminate themselves at a preliminary hearing in questioning their veracity.
Movie performances on the menu
"I'm going to show their true motives in court," says Scotti, who plans to show sexually explicit movie "performances" in court, if approved by the judge.
Gibson's past will almost certainly be on trial as well. She has released an album, "Good Girls Go to Heaven, Bad Girls Go Everywhere," and nude photos of her posing with her hand on a black book have been posted on the internet.
The trial is scheduled to begin in Van Nuys Friday at the earliest (pending Scotti's completion of another case).