Let's say you're sleeping with a multimillionaire who's on trial for DUI manslaughter, and you also happen to be the defendant's adopted daughter and trust fund beneficiary. No one expects you to be an unbiased witness. Yet Heather Colby's testimony in the John Goodman trial yesterday reached new heights of incredulity.
Although she was the first person Goodman called after the car accident that killed Scott Wilson in 2010 and she flew down to Miami later that day to be with him, Colby insists her lover never told her anything about the crash.
Colby is a golden-haired woman with a confident Southern smile and a cross chastely hugging her neck. On the witness stand, she was relaxed and warm, smiling at the prosecutor as she described her life as a stay-at-home mom in Atlanta.
Colby, 42, testified that she met Goodman at a dinner after a polo match in January 2009. They began dating, but Colby did not consider Goodman her boyfriend until after the car crash that changed his life.
Just before 2 a.m. on February 12, 2010, Goodman called Colby to tell her he'd been in an "end-of-the-world accident," according to Lisa Pembleton, a witness who overhead the call because Goodman was borrowing her phone.
Pembleton also said Goodman told Colby, "I really fucked up."
But Colby testified that she doesn't remember him making that confession. "Not to my recollection," she said.
Later that day, Colby flew from Georgia to Miami to stay with Goodman in a hotel where he was recovering from the crash. Remember, Goodman was not arrested or charged with any crime until three months after the Wellington accident.
So the couple hung out in the hotel, having the kind of pillow talk most of us would rather not imagine. But of course, they did not talk about the crash that left Goodman facing the possibility of 30 years in prison. No frightened rambling, no shame or regret or comforting murmurs. Nothing.
"Have you discussed anything with Mr. Goodman about the crash?" prosecutor Ellen Roberts asked Colby on the stand.
"No," Colby replied.
Granted, Goodman is known to be an introvert. Kris Kampsen, his former employee and polo teammate, told sheriff's investigators that Goodman is so shy it's tough to get him to open up about something as simple as the weather.
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Still, to survive a car accident that left the 23-year-old driver of the other car dead and never mention it to the woman you're sleeping with? Is the jury to assume Goodman had CIA training?
There is one more explanation. In October 2011, Goodman adopted Colby and made her a beneficiary of his children's trust funds, which are worth "several hundred million dollars." Goodman's lawyers have said 95 percent of the dough will go to his minor children. But that still leaves plenty of monetary incentive for Colby to protect him on the witness stand.