[Editor’s note: I interviewed Village Diane by phone today. She attended the court hearing and this is what she told me.]
By Village Diane
Clare and her attorneys did not arrive until less than 10 minutes before the start of the hearing. The hearing didn’t start right away.
Mark Geragos was fairly jovial, but not as much as he was at the last hearing. But he did not look worried.
Before the proceeding began, Clare left the courtroom for about 20 minutes. I don’t know if she was already feeling unwell. I thought at first she was going for a bathroom break, but it took longer than what a bathroom break would normally take.
Keith was there in court. He had shoulder-length hair. I thought he looked quite feminine.
At the hearing, one of Bronfman’s attorneys read a letter asking the judge to clear the courtroom for the hearing. When Clare’s attorney stopped reading, the judge asked one of the reporters in the courtroom, John Riley from Newsday, if he had an objection.
Riley said he objected, adding that it was important for the public; transparency was important. And there’s a compelling interest in this remaining open to the public.
The judge asked if any other journalists wanted to say anything. A few of them did. They basically said they wanted to consult with legal counsel before making a response on the record. Other journalists there were from the New York Post, Bloomberg, Courthouse News and also there was Vanessa Grigoriadis who previously had written a lengthy article about Nxivm for New York Times Magazine.
The judge decided not to clear the courtroom and said if there was something he felt didn’t need to be public, he would make a sidebar. He said that all previous Curcio hearings were public without any problem.
He said his concern was to get the truth and get full answers.
In the previous Curcio hearing, Clare Bronfman said she found Marc Geragos through searching online. Apparently, the judge had been told that Geragos had a previous relationship with the Bronfman family.
Garaufis also wanted to know if there was another attorney involved in the case.
He was very angry. He said, “I want the truth.”
It came out that Michael Avenatti was also representing Clare. That was what the judge wanted to know about. Avenatti had not made a notice of appearance in the case.
The judge asked for a sidebar. At first, Clare was sitting and a woman [an attorney] was touching her back and comforting her. Clare got up. She and her attorneys went up to the bench. They were standing.
I couldn’t hear what they were saying but the judge looked angry.
I think Judge Garaufis did say to Clare, “I want the truth. I want you to tell me the truth.”
When they were escorting her back to her seat at the defense table; someone was holding her to walk back slowly. The judge was yelling. He was angry.
Clare looked like she was having a little trouble. At some point, Clare’s body became rigid. She sort of collapsed into her chair. Something was definitely wrong. It wasn’t a fake, I don’t think. It was something medical.
Her attorneys surrounded her, and it was hard to see her. When the attorneys kind of parted, I could see that she was talking to them.
I doubt she was faking her fainting. She’s very thin. I got a chance to look at her in lighter clothing. She barely has hips. She does not have a mature woman’s body anymore.
About half an hour later, a stretcher came and a retinue from the fire department and EMT came and they put Clare in a side room and covered the window of the room with paper so that no one could see in.
It was quite a wait before we found out what was to happen. I believe Keith was not in the courtroom during that time.
When things got started again, Keith reappeared.
A woman told the court that it had been recommended to Clare that she go to the hospital, but she did not want to, she just wanted to go home and that she was unable to continue today.
They postponed the Curcio hearings. One is going to be rescheduled for 2 pm tomorrow and the other for 3 pm on Friday. I believe Clare’s Curcio is for 2 pm tomorrow.
At that point, the judge addressed the attorneys and said there was no privilege with regard to who is counsel for defendants and he expected answers tomorrow.
I think he was kind of telling the lawyers how he felt about not knowing about this other attorney [Avenatti] and that they tried to avoid telling him.
He was angry because he felt nobody had told him that Avenatti was involved in this case.
There’s no privilege the judge said with regard to who counsel is. He was angry at that.