The trial began Tuesday for civil lawsuit filed by a Chicago woman who claims her ex-husband abused and kept her as a sex slave.
Kimberley O’Brien, 51, filed the $60 million suit against 57-year-old Kevin Anderson, a rare coin dealer, seven years ago.
O'Brien claims Anderson started beating and sexually assaulted her on their honeymoon in 2005, and later forced her to abide by the rules of a master-slave contract, which included walking naked around their Chicago and Wisconsin homes, and agreeing to be tied up, whipped and beaten if she refused. O’Brien came forward with her claims in 2006
Anderson, 57, has maintained in court filing that O'Brien was a former prostitute, and while his attorney, Charles Cole, didn't use that exact word in court Tuesday, he described her as a "woman of means" who escorted men all over the world.
Anderson says O'Brien was not only a willing participant in rough sex, but was the one who introduced him to it. Cole showed jurors a four-foot-tall photo of a naked and smiling O’Brien allegedly taken the morning after she claims she was beaten unconscious on her honeymoon, telling the jury it's "a case driven largely by revenge and greed."
NBC 5 obtained a copy of the contract, which refers to Anderson as "Master KJ" and O'Brien as "Slave Elizabeth O." It explicitly states the types of discipline that could be metered out, such as bondage and leash training.
Offenses that required discipline included cockiness or rudeness and lack of respect. In court Tuesday, O'Brien's lawyer, Dean Dickie, portrayed Anderson as a Jekyll and Hyde character who didn’t reveal his true nature until after the couple had wed.
"No man should ever be able to treat the woman he claims to love -- or any woman, like this," Dickie said in opening arguments. O'Brien also took the stand Tuesday, telling jurors that when she first met Anderson, she thought she had met her soul mate.
The federal court trial, which begins seven years after the lawsuit was originally filed, is expected to last two weeks. The Talk: Defining Domestic Abuse