NASCAR driver Kurt Busch called ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll's allegations of domestic assault a "fabrication" in his testimony Wednesday. Busch claims that he was emotionally distraught after watching a movie when Driscoll decided to check up on him anyway, barging in on him in the nude.
Driscoll is seeking a protective order against Busch for events that happened after qualifying at Dover International Speedway.
Driscoll became overwhelmed with emotion Tuesday when she delivered her side of the story. She claims that Busch choked her and slammed her head against the wall of his motor home three times, and that she still fears for her safety to this day.
"I don't know what he's capable of doing," she said, as quoted by ESPN.
Driscoll also testified on Tuesday that there had been a previous physical altercation in the summer of 2012 at Busch's home, per USA Today. This altercation went unreported at the time.
A separate criminal investigation is underway by the Dover, Delaware, police regarding Driscoll's allegations of domestic assault.
According to USA Today, Busch and Driscoll both maintained that their four-year relationship had already ended by the time the race at Dover came around, after a race in New Hampshire a week before the race at Dover. A heated discussion took place en route to Logan International Airport, and Busch damaged a rental car in the process. She then drove off and left him stranded at the airport, per ESPN.
Busch told the court that he said "bye forever" then.
Driscoll testified that she reached out to Busch's mother after the break-up, saying that she was concerned about his alcohol use and depression. Busch, however, maintained that he has not had an alcoholic drink on race weekends in fifteen years and that he certainly wasn't drunk at the time of the alleged assault at Dover.
Busch claimed that Driscoll barged into his motor home after he had watched the movie Seven Years in Tibet following qualifying at Dover. He claimed that he was doing what any other man would do after a break-up: having a good, manly cry at a tearjerker movie.
"It was a moving experience... It was a spiritual movie," Busch explained, adding that the movie led him to reflect on his own life. "There were some tearjerker moments."
In a text to Driscoll that night, Busch told her that he was crying, lying on the floor and didn't know "which way was up."
In another text that night, Busch told Driscoll "I don't love anything right now."
Driscoll testified that she became concerned about Busch after seeing the texts and went to check on him, thinking she and her son could comfort him.
Busch, however, claimed that he was naked when Driscoll barged into his motor home and wouldn't leave.
Busch testified that she wanted him to tell her son to his face that the relationship was over in her unplanned and unwelcome visit, and that he asked her five times to leave. At the very least, he probably would have had to put pants on to address her son. As explained in USA Today:
"I took my hands and cupped her cheeks. I looked her eye-to-eye. I said, 'You have to leave'. I was defusing the situation," he told the courtroom.
"It needs to be described because of the fabrication we listened to yesterday," he later said of the details he shared in court after holding up his hands, showing how he held Driscoll's face.
Driscoll's attorney, Carolyn McNeice, never asked Busch if he smashed Driscoll's head against the wall.
"She just did not want to hear that denial," said Rusty Hardin, as quoted by ESPN. Hardin is the attorney representing Busch in this case.
"Throughout the hearing Busch's attorneys cast Driscoll as a jilted lover, an unbelievable storyteller, and a public relations professional who was bent on trying to destroy the driver's career," explained Jon Offredo in USA Today.
Busch's lawyers continued scrutinizing Driscoll's credibility by bringing in Michael Doncheff. Doncheff serves as personal assistant to the couple and driver of Busch's motor home.
Driscoll had sent Doncheff a screenshot of her conversation with Busch after qualifying at Dover, and Doncheff recommended that she come to Dover.
Doncheff admitted that while Busch had a temper at times that lived up to his nickname of "The Outlaw," Driscoll came off as "high maintenance." Doncheff had been instructed not to keep any alcohol on the bus by Driscoll because she explained that Busch had a problem.
While Doncheff believed Driscoll's assault allegations, he mentioned several stories that Driscoll had told him that seemed far-fetched.
Driscoll serves as president the Armed Forces Foundation charity for veterans and owns Frontline Defense Systems, LLC, a small defense contracting company.
At one point, Doncheff claimed that she bragged, "NASCAR is nothing. I take down foreign governments. I own Washington." The week before Dover, she claimed that her neck was stiff because a big man near the Mexican-American border had thrown her to the ground. She also claimed to be a "trained assassin" for the United States government, which is exactly the kind of thing you'd expect the U.S. would want to keep secret.
The hearings resume on January 12, when Hardin will cross-examine Busch.
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