A purported "sex video" of the woman now married to celebrated self-help guru Tony Robbins was voluntarily turned over to Mr. Robbins's lawyer by her first husband and destroyed, B.C. Supreme Court heard yesterday.
Lawyer David Sutherland, representing Sage Robbins's ex-husband, John Lynch, disclosed the startling information as he questioned Brian Wolf, one of Mr. Robbins's U.S. attorneys.
Mr. Robbins is suing Mr. Lynch, along with the Vancouver Sun and others, over an article in the Sun that implied that the internationally renowned inspirational speaker broke up Mr. Lynch's marriage.
Mr. Sutherland asked Mr. Wolf whether one of his tasks was to arrange the destruction of the "alleged sex video" of Bonnie Lynch (now Sage Robbins).
Mr. Wolf replied that he was not involved in the matter, but was aware that destruction of two copies of the video had been arranged by Mr. Robbins's lawyer in the current case, Roger McConchie. Mr. Sutherland went on to ask Mr. Wolf whether he knew the tapes were burned "in a parking lot in North Vancouver beside the fire station."
He also asked whether Mr. Wolf was aware that a "female Vancouver area doctor" had been called on to verify the authenticity of the tapes, which Mr. Lynch had turned over "unconditionally." Mr. Wolf testified that he did not know many details of the video tape transaction.
Mr. Sutherland did not elaborate on what may have been on them, but a story in the Vancouver Sun four years ago quoted charges by Bonnie Lynch that her husband had threatened to publish intimate photos of her unless she called off her marriage to Mr. Robbins.
She married Mr. Lynch and the couple divorced in 2002. Ms. Lynch first met Mr. Robbins at one of his motivational seminars in Hawaii in September of 1999, but Mr. Robbins contends they did not begin "serious dating" until early in 2000, after Ms. Lynch had separated from her husband.
A letter from Mr. Wolf to the Sun a day after the Sun's first story about Mr. Robbins and his relationship with Ms. Lynch said the two "were publicly seeing one another in January, 2000."
However, Vancouver Sun lawyer Robert Anderson said Mr. Robbins and Ms. Lynch were seen at a Broadway play in New York and later going for dinner at an Italian restaurant together some time in November of 1999.
He asked Mr. Wolf whether, if he had known that, he would have suggested the couple began publicly seeing each other in November rather than the following January.
"Yes," Mr. Wolf replied.
The court also heard that Mr. Robbins's representatives reacted to the Sun's first story inferring that Mr. Robbins had stolen Bonnie away from Mr. Lynch by demanding the newspaper run substantial sections of a press release challenging many details of the article.
They wanted the retraction printed on the front page with the same prominence as the original article.
The suggested headline was: Tony Robbins Falsely Accused, and the first sentence was to read: "A Langley man last week perpetrated a hoax on the Vancouver Sun newspaper when he falsely accused the world-famous self-help guru Tony Robbins of 'stealing his wife.' "
The Sun did not run the three-page press release.
Instead, the newspaper ran a follow-up story quoting both Ms. Lynch's side of the story and Mr. Lynch's self-styled "legal adviser," Gary Sir John Carlsen III.
The trial continues today with Mr. Carlsen in the witness box.