Published August 08, 2005
NEW YORK – This is a partial transcript from "At Large With Geraldo Rivera," Feb. 12, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
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GERALDO RIVERA, HOST: Say it ain't so, Barry Bonds (search). One of our guests says she was the slugger's lover for 9 years. And tonight you'll hear her say she saw him using the steroids (search) the homerun champ has vehemently and often denied.
Her name is Kimberly Bell (search). And beginning when she was 24 years old, Kimberly says for the next nine years she was the slugger's girlfriend and later mistress after he married. We have reviewed a series of documents presented to us by Kimberly, including airline tickets, love notes and photographs and believe there is substantial evidence that a relationship existed. You are about to hear, for example, a voicemail message left by the slugger.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
VOICEMAIL: Message marked urgent saved today at 6:14 a.m.
BARRY BONDS, PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL PLAYER: Hey, you know I hate talking to this thing. You know I can't take it if I don't know where you are. Later.
VOICEMAIL: End of message.
BONDS: You better reach out and page me once in a while or you're up to something other than that. Girl, I ain't playing.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
RIVERA: And while the story of a baseball player's love life is off our usual beat, what Kimberly has to say about the single-season homerun king's alleged steroid use may be relevant since it may shed light on what is being called the worst drug scandal in baseball history.
Kimberly joins us from San Francisco along with our friend Aphrodite Jones, the best-selling author with whom Kimberly, incidentally, is writing a tell-all tentatively title, "Bonds' Girl."
Kimberly, before you tell us about your relationship with Barry Bonds, what evidence, if any, do you have of his alleged steroid use?
KIMBERLY BELL, BARRY BOND'S FORMER MISTRESS: What I'm familiar with is all of the changes that occurred in his body over the course of those years as a result of the intimate relationship that we did have.
RIVERA: Describe that would you Kimberly?
BELL: Some of the changes included everything from acne on his back to a great deal of bloating that he was very concerned about that other people would notice.
RIVERA: What do you mean concerned about? Did he mention to you he was afraid the fans or his teammates might notice a change in his body?
BELL: Absolutely, yes. And he wanted to know if I thought it was obvious. And that if I thought that other people would be aware of it.
RIVERA: And what did you answer?
BELL: I smiled politely and said no, everything was fine.
RIVERA: Did you ever experience any of what they call roid rage with Barry?
BELL: I have some experiences with that, yes. For example, if he was angry with something I would say or upset, he would be very quick to draw his hand back as if to hit me just to see me flinch so that he could laugh about it.
APHRODITE JONES, AUTHOR: What is interesting about that is that Barry Bonds changed his behavior with Kimberly Bell. She is with him from 1994 through 2003. And it wasn't until he allegedly admitted to her that he used steroids that his behavior started to change. And he became much more aggressive, much more controlling and became somewhat physical toward her in a way that was frightening to her and threatening to her.
RIVERA: But wait a second, Kimberly, I didn't hear you say that Barry admitted using steroids. Did he admit, specifically, to using them to you?
BELL: Yes. And it is something that we will discuss in the book.
RIVERA: Just be a little more specific this evening.
BELL: Yes, he did tell me. He told me between '99 and 2000 that this is something that he was doing.
JONES: He told Kimberly Bell that he used steroids, because he had an arm injury, Geraldo. And he used it, in his words, not the way everybody else used it, that he wasn't shooting anything up. Kimberly, perhaps, you can say it exactly the way Barry told you.
BELL: The way he explained to me was that what he was using was helping him recover quicker from his injuries. And that as a result of that it caused the muscles and then the tendons to grow at a faster than the joint could handle.
RIVERA: All right. So he never used, specifically, the word steroids?
BELL: Oh, no, he used the word steroids. He said this was something everybody was doing.
RIVERA: And also Kimberly has evidence of other players who also are major names under investigation that Bonds made her aware of that were using steroids.
I'm just wondering, why now Aphrodite. Are you trying to cash in on the steroid scandal?
JONES: Geraldo, let's face it, the steroid scandal is the biggest thing to hit sports that we know of in decades. And as it happens, my work with Kimberly Bell on her story — remember Kimberly Bell was Barry Bonds' girlfriend for 9 years. She gave a decade of her life to this man who wound up getting married. And she decided to stay with him, regardless because this is the love of her life.
I understand this as a woman. And I also, in working with Kimberly, throughout 2004, found out not only does she know about his steroid use, but she knows a lot of things about what it is like to be a Barry Bonds girlfriend and sit waiting by that phone and jump how high when that man calls.
RIVERA: But Kimberly, you did fail in your palimony action against Bonds. You've asked for money. He asked for a confidentiality agreement. What happened with all that?
BELL: The only reason I did not go forward was because the attorneys that I spoke to wanted upwards of $100,000 to prosecute this case for me. So, that's the only reason I did not take it public.
As for the private settlement, I was hoping it could be handled that way. And I spent a great deal of money doing so and it went nowhere.
JONES: Geraldo, he promised her a house. She lived 10 years with this man. He said he would take care of her for rest of his life. He owned her. He controlled her. That's his way, Bonds likes to control.
RIVERA: Now Kimberly, you say you tried to settle privately, but he stiffed you. Did he not give you any money despite his promises?
BELL: He offered me peanuts for the whole thing.
RIVERA: Like what?
BELL: He offered me approximately $20,000 to resolve the whole thing and to walk away and sign a confidentiality agreement. What was owed on the house that was promised was in the range of $157,000, I believe.
RIVERA: $157,000 is the house he bought you in Arizona, I believe?
BELL: Yes, correct.
RIVERA: Did he visit you at that house?
BELL: Absolutely, yes.
RIVERA: After he was married?
JONES: Geraldo, if I can explain so that viewers can understand, because there's no foundation here in terms of who Kimberly Bell is and how this all emerged. Barry Bonds went after Kimberly Bell. This is a woman who had a job at Adobe, which is in the Silicon Valley. Kimberly worked there. She had a good job. She was doing modeling on the side. She had a career going on at 24 years old.
He met her and said, "You are my girl, you're it."
He was separated and then divorced from his wife Sun Bonds. During that time, he started to give Kimberly gifts, take care of things for her. He wanted her to move closer to his house. He wanted to have an apartment where he could have a crib to go to. She acquiesced to all of his demands for years. And then suddenly he turns up and says, "You know, I'm marrying someone else because I have political reasons."
And we can get into that later as to why he chose to marry somebody else.
Kimberly was torn. And basically had to make a decision to stay with somebody, because she was madly in love with him. And he promised he would take care of her for the rest of her life, no matter what.
And yet, when he gave her a house and gave her money for a down payment on a house in Arizona, Kimberly Bell moved to Arizona, in good faith, moved into the house and then Bonds reneged on his agreement and walked away right before the steroid scandal broke.
RIVERA: We get the picture Aphrodite. We get the picture. She is a woman scorned and a woman rejected or walked away from.
JONES: Yes she is a woman scorned, Geraldo.
RIVERA: All right. I'm not putting it down.
Here's a love note, one of the documents presented us to by Kimberly to prove the providence of her relationship: "Where are you. Who are you with? I have called you all night and you're not home."
First of all, were you running around on Barry? That seems the theme of all of these messages, the voicemail messages, the notes.
BELL: He had a key to my apartment at that time. And he knew where I was. He was that impatient. And that particular night, he did make four or five phone calls within a 15-minute period all demanding, screaming, yelling, swearing at me.
RIVERA: Are you a gold digger, Kimberly?
BELL: Absolutely not. I had a great job at this time.
JONES: And you know something, Geraldo.
RIVERA: Wait a second, wait a second. I know a lot of things. But Kimberly, go back to you. What do you think of Barry Bonds in the pursuit of the homerun title? Should it be tarnished by what you saw?
RIVERA: Tell us.
BELL: There're a lot of fans out there paying a lot of their hard-earned money to go watch these players play. And to know that they are making millions off of what is essentially a lie. It's kind of sad.
RIVERA: And as you sit there tonight, you say that Barry Bonds' prowess as a hitter, as a slugger is a lie?
BELL: Some of it, yes. Everything after, I'd say, 2000.
RIVERA: And the reason being?
BELL: That I'm aware he used them, based on what told me.
BELL: And the physical changes that I'm aware of. Correct.
RIVERA: And when he testifies that he never knowingly took steroids: Is Barry Bonds lying?
BELL: I believe so.
RIVERA: Kimberly, where do you hope this takes you?
BELL: I would like the equivalent of what was owed to me, which was either the house or the two-years income that I lost which almost equates to each other. And then I want to get on with my life and be able to do so. And at this point, I can't. And it is difficult to watch him on TV every day smiling and talking about what a great familyman he is, what a great athlete and giving credit a lot of credit to a lot of people.
RIVERA: And not you. OK, Kimberly. I appreciate it, Kimberly Bell, Aphrodite Jones. "Bonds' Girl," the book they have on the market.
I appreciate you're coming by for this exclusive interview. Thank you very much.
JONES: Thank you.
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