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Attorney: Bush must give deposition

January 25, 2008|Lance Pugmire | Times Staff Writer

The attorney for a would-be sports marketer suing Reggie Bush and his family says the Heisman Trophy winner from USC will be compelled next month to provide a sworn deposition answering the civil lawsuit.

A transcript of Bush's statements will then be delivered to the NCAA for review as part of the organization's investigation into Bush's involvement with a failed San Diego sports marketing company, the attorney, Brian Watkins, said Thursday.

The relationship may have featured Bush and his family receiving cash and gifts that the NCAA could view as improper benefits, resulting in possible penalties against USC and Bush, now with the New Orleans Saints.

Lloyd Lake, identified in the lawsuit as a general partner in New Era Sports & Entertainment marketing agency, will give his deposition on Feb. 12, Watkins said.

Bush was expected to provide his deposition "at the conclusion of Lloyd's, probably the next day," Watkins added.

Bush has not formally agreed to provide that deposition, Watkins acknowledged.

But "if he doesn't show up, he'll be in trouble, with the judge able to sanction him or to order him to show up with monetary sanctions," said Watkins, whose lawsuit claims Bush owes Lake $291,600.

"I'm going to ask him about everything: His involvement in this company, why he reneged [as a client], why he refuses to pay back the money for his parents' housing, the hotel rooms, the cash, the helicopter ride Lloyd gave his family in San Diego."

Bush maintains he did nothing wrong. His attorney, David Cornwell, did not return telephone and e-mail messages.

Watkins' claim that a deposition schedule had been set was first reported in Thursday's Orange County Register.

Watkins says Bush has "tried to conceal for more than two years" information about how his parents paid for a Spring Valley home that Lake's former partner Michael Michaels owned, and how the player afforded a "souped-up SS Impala that Lloyd purchased and paid thousands of dollars to fix up for Reggie."

Lake is a convicted drug felon who Bush said earlier this week has acted with "cowardice" by taking "shots in the media."

Lake's attorney said Bush was moving closer to being accountable, to Lake and the NCAA.

"He's going to need to explain why there's no canceled rent checks, even though he's said his parents just got behind in the rent," Watkins said. "He's said, 'The truth will come out,' and that, 'You'll see I'm the same good guy I always was.'

"Well, half of that's right. The truth will come out."

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lance.pugmire@latimes.com

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