Smith lawyers reportedly to attribute rape charge to woman's vengeance

November 24, 1991|By Newsday

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- William Kennedy Smith is preparing to tell the jury in his rape trial that his accuser became vengeful toward him after he called her by the wrong name during the night the two had consensual sex, according to sources close to the Kennedy family.

background should be presented to jurors.

In questioning prospective jurors last week, lead defense attorney Roy E. Black alluded to the name mix-up when he asked whether the jury candidates ever had known anybody to become enraged when another person says "the wrong thing." And the lawyer asked the potential jurors a number of questions about the links between romantic rejection and anger.

The sources declined to say what name Mr. Smith said he called the woman.

In her accounts of the incident, the woman makes no mention of Mr. Smith calling her the wrong name. But she did tell authorities that she mistakenly called Mr. Smith by the wrong name, Michael, after the alleged attack and that her mistake sent him into a rage, causing him to become "ferocious."

The woman, in statements that have been made public, does not discuss any fear of becoming pregnant, although she does say that no contraceptive was used and that she was in a fertile period of her menstrual cycle.

She also has reported she hoped that earlier in the evening Mr. Smith might ask for her telephone number and want to pursue their relationship beyond that one night.

"Earlier in the day, I had had both my mother and my counselor yelling at me that it was time to get a life," the woman recalled thinking before the alleged attack. "It would be nice if he called again but, hey, let's be realistic -- he's a Kennedy [and] he doesn't live here."

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