As a courtesy, I sent a copy of the letter addressed to the Coroner to the lawyers of “the estate of Donda West and the surviving family members” informing them of the inaccuracies in the coroner’s report as offered by Stephan Scoggins figure 3. The coroner’s office, as had been my experience, was diligent in getting back to me, and confirmed receipt of my letter figure 4.
Mr. Brad Rose, of Pryor Cashman LLP in New York City, the “litigation counsel for the estate of Dr. Donda West and the surviving personal representatives of Dr. West” (his words, not mine- I suspect you only call yourself a litigation attorney, if you expect to litigate) was not so diligent. I couldn’t understand why. He had opened the lines of communication by threatening me right after Dr. West’s death, and now, with the facts trickling to the surface seemed to be back-peddling. It took my letter, a letter from my attorney, and four telephone calls to even get him to acknowledge receipt of the letter.
Mr. Rose, however, seemed to be “posturing” and despite my candor, seemed to be looking for some advantage. His motivation in this matter was less than genuine. My lawyers had warned me about talking with him, but I knew I had done nothing wrong. I didn’t fear litigation. I would have welcomed it. I would have welcomed once and for all an opportunity to present the facts in a fair, opened forum, instead of letting reporters with an “angle” destroy the facts. My point to Rose was simply this: Let’s stop the bluffing and all lay our cards on the table.
But I knew Mr. Rose to be disgenuine because I had told him up front my concerns about Mr. Scoggins’s negligence in abandoning his aunt so soon after her surgery a few days after her death. I understood that professionally he preferred to speak with an attorney, but at that time I did not have one, (I didn’t need one) and under those circumstances it was reasonable for him to continue talking to me. Hell, except for the facts, it would have worked to his advantage in the event of “litigation”. But notice, no litigation ever came, and that speaks volumes.
I had forwarded another letter to Mr. Rose dated April 8, 2008 figure 5. I was getting frustrated with his silence because I had been more than fair and genuine with him about the particulars of the case since he represented the estate of Donda West. I felt he was also lying (much like Scoggins) and frankly, at the time, I was unable to understand why. One of the advantages of being a lawyer is that you are not the one who is on trial. Why would the lawyer have to lie?
Shortly after that, my attorney, Michael Payne, called to inform me that he had received a letter addressed to him from Mr. Rose figure 6. After reading it, I went through the roof. This guy, this Brad Rose, was continuing to be a “prick”. In our conversations, Mr. Rose pointedly denied representing Stephan Scoggins. His letter clearly demonstrates the opposite. If Scoggins was not his client, why does he care what I have to say to the Coroner, or anyone else for that matter, about Stephan Scoggins? (I have come to believe that it was because Mr. Rose was in it from the start; that he had talked with Scoggins prior to Mr. Scoggins’s misrepresentation of the truth and his role in his aunt’s care to the coroner’s investigators.)
I immediately tried to call Rose. He wouldn’t take the call. I sat down to write him a very nasty (but professional) letter (which, by the way, I never sent to him) figure 7. Mr. Rose had heard enough from me. I saw no benefit in being rude.
There was however, one more haunting question: Why would Scoggins need a lawyer, anyway? The answer: Mr. Scoggins, in my opinion, lied to the Coroner’s investigator because as a former police officer in the state of Oklahoma and as a licensed nurse in the state of California, he knew that abandoning his aunt was negligent homicide.
Yet why was Brad Rose, “the litigation attorney for the estate of Doctor West and the surviving family members”, representing, and protecting, Stephan Scoggins, the person I believed and had intimated to him to be negligent in her care (as did the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office). That seemed like a conflict of interest to me.
My communications were with the Coroner and his investigators-not “publishing false and defamatory statements”. My statements were documented. Mr. Rose was the only one “publishing false and defamatory statements”, but why? Why was Mr.Rose fighting so hard to keep me quiet? Why was Rose protecting Scoggins? Why was a Dr. Aboolian not subjected to the same scrutiny by Rose? (He was discussing the case in public, with a chart, unchecked. He also had offices in the same building in Beverly Hills as Rose’s firm.) I believe that the answer is twofold: first, Rose didn’t really care about Donda West’s privacy, that was only a smoke screen; and secondly, what he was trying to orchestrate was getting his story out the way he wanted it told, an entertainment lawyer to the end.
We know that Stephan Scoggins was not being truthful. We know that because he lied to the coroner’s investigator. We know that Mr. Scoggins spoke with the investigator by phone, but what I learned in a conversation with her, in an effort to correct his deceptions, was that he had called her that Sunday evening, and not the other way around. Stephan Scoggins had initiated the call to the coroner. That was to gain control of the story. That, I believe was Rose’s influence.
At the hospital the night before, the sheriff had informed both me and Stephan in the same conversation that the coroner would be calling us. There was no need to call them.Yet Stephan had reached out to him, it now became evident, because he (and Rose) wanted to control the dialogue; and, more importantly, didn’t want Diana and Nubia, the two witnesses to his negligence, talking with the authorities. The investigation and the dialogue surrounding the case would have looked much differently had the authorities and the press been subjected to the truth. Unlike him, or me, these were the only two people who had been with her the entire time following her surgery. They were privy to what everybody did. Scoggins and Rose couldn’t have them talking to investigators.
I, on the other hand, was suffering from the “curse of knowledge”. I had the facts. Because I knew them, they appeared so obvious to me. And yet everyone else just couldn’t, or didn’t see them. At the same time, I was unable to educate anyone else about the facts due to physician-patient privilege, not even my mother, who by now had grown more miserable than me. The facts of the case were being ignored, or at the very least buried, so as not to complicate the stories being told, and again, no one knew it but me, and I wasn’t being allowed to talk.
People were looking for someone to blame-it is our nature- but all they were getting was conjecture and lies. The fact is however, that no amount of truth, or facts, was going to get in the way of what they wanted to believe. Unfortunately, that also was not going to be a problem, TMZ had taken the lead and their take on it had nothing to do with the truth, or facts. The conversation changed abruptly. They were not interested in what had happened. They were interested in “gotcha” journalism. What followed was riddled with lies, falsehoods, and half truths taken out of context to smear me. It did not speak well of “journalism”.