Barry Bonds' former mistress told a jury Monday that Bonds suffered from shrunken testicles, acne, bloating, hair loss and impotence as a result of anabolic steroid use during their nine-year relationship.
Kimberly Bell, who first met Bonds in 1994, was at times tearful as a federal prosecutor pressed her for intimate details about Bonds' physical transformation. She painted a devastating picture of the slugger, who she claimed told her about his steroid use in 1999 and later threatened her with violence.
"He was increasingly aggressive, irritable, agitated and very impatient," said Bell, who testified Bonds once threatened her with beheading.
Bell endured about four hours of relentless cross-examination from Cris Arguedas, part of the powerful legal defense team that is seeking to undercut the credibility of government witnesses. The questions from Arguedas seemed designed to portray Bell as opportunistic and vengeful.
"Is it not the case, Ms. Bell, that you have taken many opportunities to disparage Mr. Bonds in those kind of ways and in the most vulgar ways possible," Arguedas said, at one point waving a home loan application in the air and frankly accusing Bell of lying on it.
Throughout it all, Bonds and members of his family sat stoically watching the proceedings unfold in a jam-packed room at the U.S. District Court. The 46-year-old baseball legend is on trial for lying in 2003 before a federal grand jury that was investigating the BALCO doping ring.
Bell, who dated Bonds until an ugly breakup in 2003, said that after Bonds suffered an elbow injury in 1999 he told her that the injury had been caused by steroid use. Bell claimed Bonds told her he used the drugs in part because he knew they were working for players like Mark McGwire.
"He said it helped him recover quicker," Bell said. "The shape, size of his testicles were smaller. He had some trouble keeping an erection. He tried some things to resolve that."
Bell, whose relationship with Bonds overlapped two marriages, testified that Bonds threatened her with violence before abruptly dumping her in 2003, telling her to "disappear." Bell said Bonds threatened to cut off her head and leave her in a ditch, burn down a house he helped her buy in Arizona and "cut out (her) breast implants because he paid for them."
Before Bell took the stand, longtime Giants equipment manager Mike Murphy was summoned to testify that Bonds' cap size grew from 71/4 to 73/8 while he was with the team - evidence, the government hopes to prove, that Bonds abused human growth hormone. Murphy said the heads of two other Giants heroes, Willie Mays and Willie McCovey, had also grown.
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