NEW YORK - FILE: Assistant coach Bernie Fine of the Syracuse Orange looks on from the sidelines during their game against the Connecticut Huskies during the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 12, 2009 in New York City. According to reports on November 27, 2011, Syracuse University has fired assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine over allegations of child molestation. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
With Laurie Fine's lawsuit against ESPN, the cycle of madness surrounding the Bernie Fine allegations begins anew. Whereas up until now, it's been ' story (with tidbits from Mike Lang). Now, Laurie is telling the story from her point of view.
Ultimately, it comes down to The Four Questions for me (What is this, Passover?):
1. If Laurie Fine wasn't talking about Bernie Fine molesting Bobby Davis on that recorded phone call, what WAS she talking about? The out-of-context card can only be played so long before you have to provide the context.
2. Is Mike Lang going to put concerns about his story to rest or is he going to crack?
3. Is Bernie Fine ever going to tell his side of the story?
4. What does D.A. Fitzpatrick know that we don't know?
My guess is that we might just hear an explanation for the first question, if this thing goes to trial. Unless someone puts pressure on Lang in some way, I doubt we'll ever get the definitive answer on his story. And I don't expect Bernie to talk to anyone anytime soon. Not so long as the possibility of lawsuits and prosecutions still linger.
As for the fourth one, I imagine we may hear this one day soon. Say what you will of his style, Fitzy has basically been correct every step of the way here. He called the two lying accusers liars before anyone else knew they were liars and he adamantly stands by Bobby Davis and Mike Lang as credible accusers. He affirmed that again Wednesday after being called out by Fine's lawyer to boot.
John O'Brien over at the Post-Standard digs in deeper to these questions and makes sure to note just how evasive Laurie and her lawyer were about question No. 1.
Laurie Fine’s lawyer, Lawrence Fisher, was peppered with questions about that 2002 phone call while surrounded by about 50 reporters and videographers outside the ritzy Belhurst Castle. Fisher chastised reporters who pressed him about the 2002 tape or referred them to the 44-page lawsuit that he plans to file soon in federal court in Syracuse.
"The complaint adequately and very pointedly addresses precisely what was being talked about, and I would refer you to it," Fisher said.
But the lawsuit does not specifically explain those remarks.
And what of Bobby Davis and his stepbrother? Their lawyer, Gloria Allred, had some interesting thoughts on what might happen if the lawsuit goes to trial:
"We would anticipate if Ms. Fine's case goes forward that our client will be a witness and will testify under oath as to the recorded statements and all other matters relevant to the complaint."
Laurie wasn't the only person to break their silence today. Debbie Gaetano, longtime friend of Fine's, also spoke about what the ordeal has been like for Laurie since the accusations hit.
"She pretty much was holed up," Gaetano said of Fine’s life during the past six months. "Who wouldn’t be?"
"She never left the house for six months," Gaetano said of her friend.
"The only ones that really know are Bobby, Bernie and God," she said. "Those are the only ones that know for sure."
She's right. They might be the only ones who know the truth. But, dammit, we really want to know it too.