Tommy Smothers accused of sexual assault
Two former stepdaughters of comedian Tommy Smothers are seeking monetary and punitive damages from the entertainer for alleged incidents of childhood sexual abuse while Smothers was married to their mother in the early 1970s.
Alana Monson DeLima, 27, of Yerington, Nev. filed an action against Smothers, 60, in March of 1996 in El Dorado Superior Court for negligent and intentional childhood sexual abuse. DeLima alleges that on at least three separate occasions during the years of 1974 and ’75, when she was approximately 4 years old, Smothers touched her inappropriately.
DeLima, an admitted alcoholic and methamphetamine addict, claims that she has suffered severe and long-term psychological damage from the alleged abuse that has plagued her throughout her life.
In September of 1997, Murlyne “Mimi” Wilcock, 30, DeLima’s sister, filed a complaint also alleging childhood sexual abuse on at least one occasion. Wilcock resides in North Ogden, Utah.
William Cole, the attorney for DeLima and Wilcock, filed a motion at the end of December to consolidate the two cases.
Attorneys for Smothers argued that the motion was just an attempt to bolster DeLima’s credibility and that it would bring prejudice against their client. It is their contention that DeLima’s claims were fabricated as part of an attempt to extort money from Smothers.
“These charges are 20 years old and have never been raised previously with either Mr. Smothers or Mrs. DeLima’s family, and by any standards these allegations are meritless in the extreme,” said Dale Kinsella, Smothers’ attorney of the Los Angeles law firm Kinsella, Boesch, Fujikawa, and Towle. “In addition, Mrs. DeLima has testified that if she did not get money from Mr. Smothers she would take her story to the tabloids. A jury will have to determine Mrs. DeLima’s motives for these belated allegations.”
The motion was heard on Friday and Judge Suzanne Kingsbury took it under submission. The original trial date for DeLima’s case was set for Jan. 27. In light of the consolidation motion, that date was thrown out and a new trial date has yet to be set.
Smothers married Rochelle Monson, the mother of Murlyne and Alana, in 1974. It was his second marriage. The two first met in high school. In a deposition given by Smothers in June of 1997, he said he met Rochelle again when she came backstage after he performed at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe. The couple dated for approximately six months before getting married in a Las Vegas wedding chapel in 1974. The marriage only lasted for about a year.
In a deposition given by DeLima in February of 1997, she testified to an incident that allegedly occurred during Christmastime of 1974 at Harrah’s “The Villa,” a residence on the lake kept for entertainers and important visitors. DeLima testified that she and her sister, Wilcock, ran into her mother’s bedroom in the morning and got into bed with her and Smothers. DeLima said when her mother left the room Smothers put his hand inside the front of her underwear and moved his fingers around.
When her mother returned, DeLima said Smothers stopped and she and her sister got up and left the room. Outside the door DeLima said she asked her sister, “Did he do that to you, too?” and Wilcock replied, “yes,” and then told DeLima to be quiet.
In a deposition given by Wilcock in April of 1997, she testified that the bedroom incident occurred at Smothers’ home in Mill Valley, Calif. She also said that their mother was in the bed during the entire time of the alleged molestation.
“When I woke up Tom’s hand was inside my underwear, coming around the back, and on my vagina,” Wilcock said in her deposition.
When the girls left the room Wilcock said she was the one who asked DeLima if he had done the same to her with DeLima replying in the affirmative. Wilcock said she was 6 years old at the time of the incident.
In Smothers’ deposition he denied every allegation and testified that he does not believe the two girls ever got into bed with him and his wife at either residence.
When asked why she didn’t discuss the incidents with her mother until 1993, DeLima said it wasn’t something that was talked about in the family.
“Nobody ever discussed anything, about when my mom was married to Tom,” DeLima said. “Nobody ever discussed it. It was like, a big ‘hush, hush.’ That’s just when anything was brought up. It was always, ‘I’m not going to talk about it.'”
DeLima claims that her accusations are not a case of repressed memory and that she never forgot the first two incidents. There are also depositions filed with the court from some of DeLima’s childhood friends claiming she recalled and related the incidents as early as when she was 10 years old.
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