While she praised the unethical efforts of Mike Nifong, Crystal Mangum had nothing but contempt for the special prosecutors who took over the case after Nifong recused himself. She especially seemed not to like Assistant Attorney General Jim Coman. In her first meeting with the new prosecution team, she recalled,
Both Mary Winstead and Jim Coman struck me as professional people, but I was a bit nervous. I thought that they were representing me and I did not expect them to be hostile. [emphasis added]
Mangum appears unaware that—unlike Nifong, who repeatedly referred to Mangum as “my victim”—prosecutors do not “represent” accusers. They represent the people.
The second meeting with the special prosecutors went worse—because state law enforcement officials, unlike Nifong, had the temerity to question Mangum’s myriad, often contradictory, versions of events:
There were four white males and one white female. Later a black woman joined us. The three white men were identified as members of the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI).
The extra people in the room made me especially uncomfortable. I was not expecting such a large gathering and the demeanor of those watching did not make me feel they were on my side. We all sat around a large conference table. There was an easel set up; I was given a long pointing stick and asked to go over the events of the night of March 13 while the people in the room stared at me. I was visibly uncomfortable. I struggled with my words and felt confused at times because I could not stand the looks I was getting. I was told I needed to describe again in detail what had happened. It was excruciating and humiliating, trying to tell my story to people who were visibly hostile.
After breaking down in tears, Mangum recalls,
Jim Coman launched into a series of rapid-fire questions. “Where were you raped? Which door did you enter and exit? Were they the same doors? Did Mr. Nifong tell you the names of your attackers?” I felt like I had answered all those questions a dozen times already. Mr. Coman’s delivery of the questions to be trying to frustrate me . . . Why was not someone on my side in this? I had met with the police and Mike Nifong and never once did I feel like I was not being respected.
Mangum’s response to these events? Blame everything on . . . Duke(!). She told the special prosecutors, “They are going to get away with it because Duke has paid everyone to be silent.” The serial fabricator also offered the wild claim that Duke had doctored the photos of the party.
(This, of course, is the same Duke that—in the grip of the Group of 88—did everything but take out a full-page ad in the New York Times distancing itself from the three students Mangum falsely accused.)
While Mangum discusses her first and second meetings with the special prosecutors, she doesn’t mention her final meeting with state law enforcement officials—the meeting to which she arrived impaired from a cocktail of prescription drugs. That finding, documented in the AG’s report, wouldn’t support her self-portrayal as a kind of anti-drug crusader in the world of exotic dancing.
Mangum’s reaction to the Cooper Report was, to put it mildly, bizarre: “I thought that if they did not want to pursue rape charges they could move forward. If nothing else, there should have been enough evidence to prove that racial slurs where used during the assault.”
The report, of course, concluded there was no assault. Even in
Reflecting on the demise of her hoax, Mangum did give a shout-out to her hero, Mike Nifong, for whom she felt “sorry.” And she again lashed out at defense attorneys, who she denounced as “free to go about getting as much money as they could from anyone they could sue. With his law license gone, Mike Nifong was vulnerable. He had served
Mangum offered no evidence to corroborate her attack against the State Bar. Nor did she explain how “the forces aligned against the case” controlled the Bar’s actions. As the book proceeded, the anti-Nifong/Mangum conspiracy that the serial fabricator imagined had grown to enormous proportions.
In addition to castigating the special prosecutors and the State Bar, Mangum laced into CNN. It turns out that she had consented to a lengthy interview with Soledad O’Brien, at which she presumably told one of her myriad stories about what happened in the case. The result?
After allowing them into personal life and my home, someone at CNN decided this reporting was not something they wanted the public to see . . . Now, when I call CNN, no one will take my call(!!). They have nothing to say about what they saw.
Mangum appears unaware that—if only due to fear of a libel suit—most major news organizations will not give TV time to someone who’s offering a demonstrably false story.
In a line that could define chutzpah, the woman who leveled false allegations of a horrific crime against three innocent college students concluded, “I am left with hating the way it felt to be accused of being something I was not.”