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Barry Bonds' ex-mistress testifies he threatened to cut her head off

March 28, 2011 | 11:31 am

Barry Bonds and Kimberly Bell

The former mistress of home-run slugger Barry Bonds testified tearfully at a federal trial Monday that Bonds verbally and physically abused her after he began using steroids around 2000, seven years before he broke the record for lifetime home runs.

Kimberly Bell, who was romantically involved with Bonds for about nine years, told the jury Bonds threatened to cut off her head, cut out her breast implants and to burn her house when he could not reach her by telephone.

"He was just very controlling," said Bell, her voice breaking with emotion. Under questioning by a prosecutor, Bell testified that Bonds told her he was using steroids sometime in 1999 to 2000.

After he began taking the drugs, he became aggressive, impatient and abusive, Bell testified. She said his testicles also shrank and that he became unable to perform sexually.

Bell said she became Bonds' lover before his second marriage, and they continued their relationship during that marriage. Bell told the predominantly female jury that Bonds broke up with her in 2003 in a telephone call when he told her "to disappear."

She testified that Monday in court was the first time she had seen the retired San Francisco Giant. On cross-examination, a defense attorney asked Bell if she had a "tremendous amount of practice" telling her story because she had told it in at least 20 media interviews. Bell acknowledged doing lots of interviews.

"On how many of those radio shows did you cry when describing this information?" asked Cristina Arguedas, a member of Bonds' defense team. "None, right?"

Bell, a star witness, attracted many spectators. The courtroom was full before the trial even started, and an overflow room for public viewing was crowded when Bell took the stand.

Bonds is accused of lying to a grand jury in 2003 when he testified that he did not knowingly take steroids.


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-- Maura Dolan in San Francisco

Photo: Barry Bonds on March 1, 2011, arriving at a federal courthouse in San Francisco. Credit: Jeff Chiu / Associated Press. Kimberly Bell on March 17, 2006, leaving federal court in San Francisco. Credit: Frederic Larson / Associated Press