An interesting, and revealing, vignette from Ben Himan’s deposition. On January 11, 2007, Nifong had a lengthy meeting with Crystal Mangum—not to discuss the myriad contradictions in her stories, but to tell her he was going to recuse himself from the case. His real goal appeared to be to press her to drop the case by telling her how bad things would be in moving forward. Had she done so, of course, the ex-DA would have had an excuse not to turn the case over to the attorney general’s office.
Afterward, in Himan’s retelling, Nifong recalled that he “advised her” that “if she pursued it . . . it was going to be very hard for her. That if she thought the night in question of the 13th and 14th was bad, that it was going to be very hard on her, that they were going to be . . . I don’t know how to explain it. That being on the witness stand was going to be just as worse or bad” as the initial “assault.”
It was almost as if Nifong was quoting the Saturday Night Live parody of Nancy Grace, which had aired a short while before his January meeting with Mangum. In the skit, Amy Poehler-as-Nancy Grace proclaimed that she and Nifong seemed to be the only two people in the country willing to stick up for false rape accusers, whose fate, Poehler-as-Grace noted, could actually be worse than real victims:
For the false accuser, when they are finally proved to be lying, it’s like being raped all over again—except for the fact that they weren’t actually raped the first time. And in that moment, the phony victim is forced to relive the horror of what she claimed had happened to her, which is not only emotionally wrenching, but almost impossible to do—since, again, it didn’t actually happen to her.