[Someone is lying through their teeth to the court....
This is the most revealing info one could ever get into the secretive world of Tony Robbins. This stuff is all hushed up by his non-disclosure aggreements.
It will be interesting to see what the judge makes of all this.]
CanWest's Sun trial hears of frequent phone calls
2005-07-07 19:43 ET - Street Wire
by Stockwatch Business Reporter
Millionaire motivational speaker Tony Robbins was in frequent phone contact with Bonnie Lynch, now Sage Robbins, between September, 1999, and March, 2000, The Vancouver Sun's libel trial has been told. The Sun's lawyer spent the morning of July 7, 2005, reviewing phone records and credit card statements from Mr. Robbins's companies from late 1999 and early 2000. Mr. Robbins and his new wife Sage met in Hawaii in September, 1999, at a Robbins's seminar, and began publicly seeing each other in January, 2000. Mrs. Robbins's divorce from her former husband became final on June 21, 2001.
Mr. Robbins sued The Sun and a host of other defendants, over June, 2001, media coverage. The plaintiff claims that the articles implied that Mr. Robbins was an adulterous hypocrite who stole the wife of Langley, B.C., man John Lynch, driving Mr. Lynch to try to kill himself. The media defendants state that some of the implications in the stories were true, and that the articles were not defamatory. Mr. Lynch, originally a defendant in the lawsuit along with the media defendants and his former legal adviser Gary Sir John Carlsen III, settled out of court with Mr. Robbins one week into the trial.
Sun lawyer Rob Anderson continued on his second day of cross-examining Sam Georges, the president and general counsel for Mr. Robbins's group of companies. Mr. Georges asked to address the court from the witness stand, and told Mr. Justice L. Paul Williamson that he had spent the evening reflecting on Mr. Anderson's previous line of questioning. Mr. Georges did not have a chance to talk with Mr. Robbins to ask his client for direction to waive privilege. Mr. Georges also does not have local counsel of his own to ask advice on the intricacies of Canadian laws on lawyer-client privilege.
Mr. Georges told the court that after thinking it over, he cannot continue to answer any questions on the communications between him and his client, or his client's companies. Later, the witness clarified that he will certainly not act in contempt of the court, if the judge orders him to answer a question, he only wanted to clarify his position on privilege.
Judge Williamson thanked Mr. Georges for his comments, and said that it was appropriate for the witness to protect the privilege of his client. If the cross-examination strayed into grey areas, then Mr. Georges could request a local lawyer for consultation.
Mr. Anderson asked Mr. Georges about how telephone records from the Robbins companies were prepared by staff at Mr. Robbins's companies. Mr. Georges repeated his answer from Wednesday, saying that as he received orders and requests in Los Angeles for document disclosure, he would hand the requests off to various employees to dig up the documents. The process took over four years, from the inception of the lawsuit, and reached a fever pitch in the months leading up to the trial after preliminary hearings in the lawsuit. Mr. Georges made reference to one demand for documents, when one young man at the Robbins companies had to work over his Memorial Day weekend and fly up to Vancouver with 300 pounds of video tapes, to comply with pretrial orders.
Mr. Anderson took his witness back to the phone records the court had looked at the previous day. Flipping through the phone records delivered to the defence by Mr. Robbins, Mr. Anderson asked Mr. Georges where the rest of the records were, in light of recently received information from Mrs. Robbins's cellphone records. Apparently, between early October, 1999, and March, 2000, Mrs. Robbins placed over 100 calls to Mr. Robbins's answering service. The calls were not reflected in any of the documentation delivered by the plaintiff, Mr. Anderson said.
Roger McConchie, Mr. Robbins's lawyer, strongly objected to the question. According to the plaintiff's lawyer, Mr. Anderson was referring to documents received the previous day and that had not been shown to Mr. McConchie. By putting unproven assertions to the witness as if they were fact, without any supporting documentation before the court, Mr. McConchie said, the witness could be left with the wrong impression.
Mr. McConchie was also worried about the accuracy of media stories, based on Mr. Anderson's tactics. "There is nothing we can do to control misleading information in many newspaper reports," Mr. McConchie said. In the plaintiff's own documents, Mr. Robbins admitted that he and Mrs. Robbins were in communication as mere friends between October and November, 1999, while they were both dating other people, Mr. McConchie added. As the plaintiff never said there was no communication, the lawyer was not sure why the court needed to go through the exercise of reviewing the phone records.
The frequency of the calls was relevant to his case, Mr. Anderson argued. Mr. Robbins testified in his pretrial examination for discovery that the calls between Mrs. Robbins and himself were not at all frequent. The comparison would show the lack of co-operation from the plaintiff in disclosing all records of phone calls between the plaintiff and Mrs. Robbins.
The judge waited until both lawyers were finished, then told them that he was troubled by the amount of time being taken at trial to go over the evidence in this laborious fashion. He told Mr. Anderson that he would be allowed to ask Mr. Georges if the witness knew if Mrs. Robbins called Mr. Robbins's 800-number answering service.
Mr. Anderson then asked Mr. Georges, "Did you know that Bonnie placed a number of calls to Mr. Robbins's answering service between October and March?"
"No," Mr. Georges replied.
Details of phone records
The Sun lawyer moved deeper into the phone records. A few of the records indicated that phone calls were placed to Mrs. Robbins's cellphone from various phones at Mr. Robbins's companies. Mr. Georges could not verify those comments, as he does not know Mrs. Robbins's phone number, and cannot identify who might have placed the phone calls on the Robbins end.
Mr. Anderson then turned to travel records reflected in Robbins company credit card statements, some of which had potions redacted before they were delivered to the Sun's lawyers. Mr. Georges denied redacting the entries, or telling anyone to do so. He was unaware who might have modified the records. Mr. Anderson specifically went to the January, 2000, records, that showed a Robbins company account that paid for two plane tickets to Fiji for Mrs. Robbins and her sister, Debbie Humphrey. In the first set of documents that the defendants received, the entry for Ms. Humphrey's travel was blacked out, while in subsequent documents, her name is unaltered. Mr. Georges was unable to say who had redacted the information.
Aiming for the Robbins' divorce
Mr. Anderson turned his questions to ask about Mr. Robbins's seminars themselves. Mr. Georges was asked if, prior to 1999, Mr. Robbins's first wife Becky would often attend the seminars. Mr. McConchie objected to the question, saying it was not at all relevant. Mr. Anderson had been cross-examining Mr. Georges for over a day, Mr. McConchie said, and now he wanted to ask more seemingly irrelevant questions.
Mr. Georges was excused from the courtroom while the lawyers discussed the matter. Mr. Anderson said that the questions were germane to his case, as they dealt with the divorce between Mr. Robbins and Becky Robbins, which was mentioned in the original Sun story in 2001. The Sun lawyer claims to have video footage that places Becky Robbins at the Hawaii seminar in September, 1999, at which Sage Robbins first met Mr. Robbins. In addition, Mr. Anderson said that affidavit evidence of Becky Robbins, filed in an unrelated matter, will show Becky Robbins was not at an October, 1999, seminar in Portland, Ore. This is important because phone records indicate that Mr. Robbins called Sage Robbins in Langley, B.C., and then Sage Robbins travelled to Portland. Mr. Anderson hoped that the judge could infer that Sage Robbins went to Portland at Mr. Robbins's request.
The trial continues after lunch, when Mr. McConchie will respond to Mr. Anderson's comments.
CanWest's Sun trial hears about the Whistler trip
2005-07-07 21:20 ET - Street Wire
by Stockwatch Business Reporter
The afternoon session of 13th day of the libel trial of motivational speaker Anthony Robbins versus The Vancouver Sun and others heard about John and Bonnie Lynch's 1999 sleeping arrangements at Whistler, B.C. Mr. Robbins's current wife Sage shared a bedroom with her then husband John Lynch in Whistler in November, 1999. The Whistler trip evidence was disputed by Mr. Robbins's lawyer, who said the trip was a fabrication.
The Whistler testimony puts Mr. Lynch and his ex-wife Bonnie in the same bedroom within weeks of their separation and after Mrs. Lynch first attended one of Mr. Robbins's seminars in September, 1999.
Mr. Robbins is suing The Vancouver Sun over stories that Mr. Robbins took to mean he was an adulterous hypocrite who stole Mr. Lynch's wife, against his own teachings. The stories, printed in 2001, said Mr. Lynch tried to kill himself with pills and a knife after his wife left him.
The Sun denies that its stories meant anything defamatory.
Mr. Lynch, who Mr. Robbins was also suing, apologized mid-trial for contributing to the story and was dropped as a defendant.
Day 13 heard a friend of Mr. Lynch, Allen Lawrence, testify about the Whistler trip and deny that he and Mr. Lynch spent their weekends on the nightclub scene.
Mr. Georges accounts for the accountants' accounting
Before Mr. Lawrence could take the stand, Sam Georges, head of several of Mr. Robbins's companies, finished his testimony. Sun lawyer Rob Anderson asked him about the assembly of financial records he provided for the trial.
Mr. Georges explained how he delegated the task to the accounting department after Mr. Robbins's lawyer, West Vancouver libel specialist Roger McConchie, directed him to prepare the records.
Mr. Anderson also asked Mr. Georges if Mr. Robbins's first wife, Becky, attended an Oct. 4, 1999, motivational seminar held by Mr. Robbins in Portland, Ore. "I don't know," Mr. Georges replied.
(That seminar took place after Mr. Robbins first met Mrs. Lynch at a September, 1999, seminar in Hawaii.)
The Lynches' Whistler bedroom
With Mr. Georges's testimony completed, it was time for Mr. Lawrence, now a resident of Montreal, to take the stand. Under questioning by Scott Dawson, one of the three defence lawyers, Mr. Lawrence told the court of a November, 1999, weekend he spent in Whistler with Mr. Lynch and his then wife, Bonnie.
He said they appeared to him to be a normal, married couple. "I did not feel that there was any negative energy," Mr. Lawrence told the court.
Mr. Lawrence told the court how the three of them stayed in a chalet-style hotel in Whistler, with the Lynches staying in the bedroom and Mr. Lawrence on the couch.
Mr. Lawrence confirmed the Lynches shared a queen-sized bed and their two dogs slept on a pillow on the floor. He said they spent time at Buffalo Bill's, an entertainment establishment he once managed, and also visited Chef Bernard's, an eatery in Whistler.
Mr. Lawrence told the court the trip came about when Mrs. Lynch phoned him in October, 1999. They apparently discussed snowboarding and planned the trip.
The cellphone incident
Mr. Lawrence said during the trip he unexpectedly came across Mrs. Lynch talking on her cellphone in the chalet's underground parkade. He testified she "appeared uncomfortable" and hung up the phone as soon as she saw him.
After that, Mr. Lawrence said the very brief trip was over.
The pills in the glove box
Mr. Lawrence told the court he did not learn the Lynches were separated until the following spring, when he had dinner with Mr. Lynch. "I saw my long-time friend hollow, a different person," he testified.
He said he became "greatly concerned" about Mr. Lynch when he opened the glove box in his car and found prescription medication. He testified he asked Mr. Lynch to commit to a program of physical fitness at the time.
At that point Mr. Dawson wrapped up his questioning of Mr. Lawrence.
The Whistler trip did not happen
Mr. Robbins's lawyer, Mr. McConchie, in his cross-examination, suggested the entire Whistler trip did not exist. "The Whistler trip is a figment of your imagination and never happened," Mr. McConchie said.
"That's not true," Mr. Lawrence replied.
Mr. McConchie also suggested that Mr. Lawrence was drinking buddies with Mr. Lynch and they frequently went to Boone County (a Coquitlam nightclub for urban cowboys).
Mr. Lawrence, however, stuck to his story. He repeatedly told Mr. McConchie that his suggestions were not true. When Mr. McConchie told him that he and Mr. Lynch were regulars on the nightclub scene, Mr. Lawrence said, "No, I don't recall that."
Mr. McConchie suggested that Dan Henderson, best man at the Lynch wedding, was also on these drinking trips. Mr. Lawrence said he did not recall Mr. Henderson.
Mr. McConchie suggested that Mr. Lawrence, who had many contacts in nightclubs with his job as a liquor salesman, would have been able to help Mr. Lynch circumvent the lines at nightclubs. Mr. Lawrence, however, told Mr. McConchie he did not spend any time drinking with the married Mr. Lynch, other than one night at Boone County.
Mr. Lawrence did agree with Mr. McConchie's suggestion that he had no idea what Mr. Lynch was up to on Friday and Saturday nights.
The "great chasm"
Mr. McConchie spent some time establishing that there was a "great chasm" in the relationship between Mrs. Lynch and Mr. Lawrence. Mr. Lawrence, for his part, agreed with Mr. McConchie.
He said there was some friction between himself and Mrs. Lynch after a relationship he had with one of her friends ended badly. He testified that this would have been six to eight weeks after the Lynch wedding. Mr. Lawrence confirmed he did not talk to Mrs. Lynch for over five years after the 1993 wedding.
When she phoned him to arrange the Whistler trip, Mr. Lawrence said it was the first time they had spoken since 1993.
Mr. McConchie repeated, with some incredulity, the fact that she would have phoned Mr. Lawrence after all this time and then decided to spend a weekend with him and Mr. Lynch in Whistler.
Mr. Lawrence, however, stuck by his story. He said he thought she was trying to mend fences, and he saw the Whistler trip as an opportunity to do just that.
Mr. Lawrence's past
Mr. McConchie also asked Mr. Lawrence to clarify where he has lived and when. Mr. Lawrence testified he was born in Duncan, B.C., 42 years ago. He said he lived in Whistler between 1987 and 1988, and then lived in Vancouver until he moved to Montreal in June, 2002.
Mr. McConchie wrapped up his questioning asking Mr. Lawrence when he learned he would be testifying. Mr. Lawrence told him he talked to Sun lawyer Mr. Dawson two weeks ago.
The trial resumes tomorrow, possibly with Sun editor Patricia Graham taking the witness stand.