Bashara’s honesty questioned in his bid for retrial

George Hunter
The Detroit News

Bob Bashara tripped when he walked onto the witness stand Friday — and then was tripped up by what prosecutors said were his rampant lies.

Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Lisa Lindsey fired away at inconsistencies in statements Bashara has made since his wife, Jane, was found dead in her SUV on Jan. 24, 2012.

Bashara, who was sentenced to life in prison in December after he was found guilty of orchestrating his wife’s murder, is seeking a new trial. Friday was the seventh day of his hearing.

The former Grosse Pointe businessman had previously testified his wife didn’t mind his affair with Rachel Gillett, with whom he had a bondage, discipline, sadomasochistic relationship, as long as he didn’t embarrass her.

But Lindsey pointed out Bashara often took Gillett to public functions.

“You took Rachel dancing,” Lindsey said.

“Not in Grosse Pointe,” Bashara replied.

Wayne Circuit Judge Vonda Evans interjected: “Irrespective. It’s on the planet, isn’t it?”

Often when Lindsey highlighted inconsistencies in Bashara’s statements, he responded he didn’t remember.

At one point, when discussing Bashara phoning his real estate agent the morning after his wife was killed, he said: “I’m sorry to point Miss Lindsey’s shortcomings out. You’ve got to tell the truth.”

“Oh, I heard the truth,” Lindsey replied.

Bashara claimed he hadn’t called his real estate agent, and said she’d called him. Lindsey showed him phone records proving he had called her.

“So once again, it wasn’t my shortcomings,” Lindsey snapped.

“You called the realty company? About what? Your wife was missing,” Evans said.

Also Friday, Bashara portrayed himself as a philanthropist — both in his public life and in the BDSM lifestyle.

“In Rotary ... I was involved in numerous committees ... when it came to church, I didn’t just show up at church and worship,” he said. “I tried to go above and beyond in everything I did.”

He added he found out after getting into the BDSM lifestyle that women were being abused.

Evans asked: “So you were like a rescuer.”

“I gotta tell you, Your Honor, I helped a lot of women out,” Bashara said.

Bashara also said he still loved his wife.

“If Jane was not brutally murdered, I would still be in the (BDSM) lifestyle,” he said. “I would’ve still went on a second honeymoon.”

Friday marked Bashara’s fourth day on the witness stand in the hearing. He is scheduled to return to court Dec. 3, after Evans allowed his attorneys time to review transcripts of earlier testimony.

The former president of the Grosse Pointe Rotary Club claims he didn’t get a fair trial, in part because he says his lawyers didn’t highlight his philanthropic work enough. He also said the media tainted his reputation.

Bashara also said he wanted to testify during his trial, but was talked out of it by his attorneys, Lillian Diallo and Michael McCarthy, who told him it was a bad idea.

Bashara’s handyman, Joe Gentz, pleaded guilty to strangling Jane Bashara at Bob Bashara’s behest. Gentz is serving 17-28 years in prison.

Prosecutors say Bashara paid Gentz to strangle Jane Bashara in the garage of the couple’s Middlesex home so he could immerse himself in the BDSM lifestyle with Gillett.

(313) 222-2134