Jury rules in favor of ex-husband in Gold Coast 'sex-slave' tria - Fox 2 News Headlines

Jury rules in favor of ex-husband in Gold Coast 'sex-slave' trial

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Kevin Anderson Kevin Anderson
Kimberly O'Brien Kimberly O'Brien
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Jurors on Thursday rejected a Gold Coast woman's claims that she was "psychologically scarred" and abused by her 57-year-old ex-husband's treatment of her as a "sex slave" in the shadowy world of bondage and sadomasochism.

Kim O'Brien, 52, pursed her lips and raised her eyebrows at the jury's verdict. She left the courtroom without comment, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

SEE: Alleged sex-slave 'master' takes the stand in his defense

SEE: Chicago bride claims her husband forced her to be a sex slave

SEE: Jurors see love letters, contract at 'sex-slave' trial

The panel began deliberating Thursday after hearing lawyers for the alleged "slave" and "master" trade competing versions of a tragically dysfunctional marriage.

O'Brien's lawyers say she was permanently "psychologically scarred" by Kevin Anderson's emotional and physical abuse that allegedly culminated in a sadomasochistic sex attack on their California honeymoon in 2005.

But Anderson's attorney said O'Brien was a "gold digger" who "liked" being tied up and beaten and "set up" the wealthy Anderson because she was "motivated by greed" and angry at herself for getting an abortion.

Anderson was not in court Thursday. But his lawyers said they did not know if he would ever marry again.

"I don't know -- he's had a difficult experience," one of his attorneys told the Chicago Sun-Times.

The closing arguments came at the end of an unusual two-week federal civil trial that forced jurors to take an unflinching look at the hidden world of bondage, submission, sadism and masochism.

Jurors deliberated O'Brien's claims of intentional emotional abuse, unlawful restraint, sexual assault and battery for four hours before reaching a verdict.

O'Brien, who told the Sun-Times when she filed her case seven years ago that she wanted to stand up against domestic abuse and who cried repeatedly through her testimony, insists she did not consent to being beaten unconscious, sexually assaulted and photographed after she was tied up on her honeymoon.

But Anderson says she wanted to be restrained and that any sex was consensual. He has all but accused her of being a prostitute who's trying to steal his money.

Representing O'Brien, attorney Robert Levels said Thursday that she "went through hell" after Anderson forced her to abide by the terms of a slavery "contract" that required her to parade around the house naked and endure beatings and sexual humiliations.

He pointed to a section of the "contract" that said that for slaves like O'Brien, "laws and rights are irrelevant -- no outside agency decides how they live."

Dean Dickie, also representing O'Brien, said that "whenever there is an allegation or an accusation between a man and a woman about what happened in the privacy of their bedroom ... inevitably it turns into ‘it was all the woman's fault and the man was the victim of something that was made up.'"

Dickie added that "any other woman would be at risk" if "Kevin Anderson is permitted to escape liability," an argument Judge Edmond Chang told jurors to disregard as irrelevant to the facts of the case.

But representing Anderson, Charles Cole said O'Brien's account was "a fantasy -- it's a movie script."

After poking several holes in the timeline she gave of her romance with Anderson, he showed a naked photo of an apparently unhurt and smiling O'Brien taken hours after the alleged honeymoon assault.

In an awkward aside, Cole conceded that Anderson was "no Romeo ... not when you compare to the physical allure of Ms. O'Brien."

O'Brien had told a "bald-faced lie" when she "coldly" hid an abortion from Anderson, he added, claiming that was the real reason the "narcissistic" O'Brien was psychologically damaged.

Though the allegations at the heart of the case are serious, the trial has included several absurd moments, including an argument about a pair of French lace underwear O'Brien owned.

Cole claimed the garment was evidence of O'Brien's interest in sadomasochism, telling jurors "That's not a pair of panties!" at one point in his closing argument.

Dickie countered that though the underwear was "indeed lovely and erotic" it had nothing to do with sadomasochism or bondage.

He declined to tell jurors how much he thought they should award O'Brien, though previously filed court documents show she's hoping for millions.

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