[Update, 1.08pm: It’s worth noting that Coman was absolutely clear in his interview with Joe Neff regarding his feelings on the case:
Coman said all the physical evidence pointed to innocence – DNA tests; cellphone records of the players and Mangum; photographs and videos; and receipts from a gas station, restaurants and debit cards. One player, whom Coman dubbed “Ansel Adams,” photographed and videoed much of the evening.
“I was just adamant,” Coman said. “She lied, she made up a story, and damn it, we’ve got to do the right and ethical thing.”]This cannot in any way be construed as the statement of a man who was blindsided by a declaration of innocence.
Cohan has never acknowledged the error.
- First, the well-connected Bernie Reeves reported that the total was around a third of Cohan’s. Maybe Reeves is wrong and Cohan is right (I have no reason to believe this is the case), but it’s striking that Cohan doesn’t even mention Reeves’ scoop anywhere in the book.
- Second, I’m not aware of any substantiation for Cohan’s claim (first made in an interview with the Daily News, oft-repeated since) of a $100 million cost to Duke, meaning legal fees of at least $37 million. He gives no indication that he sought to interview Duke’s attorneys, or that he asked Bob Steel or a Duke spokesperson to provide even a ballpark figure regarding Duke’s legal fees. As far as I can determine, Cohan simply created this figure from whole cloth.
- Third, Cohan offered a peculiar line in his C-SPAN interview: his claim of a $60 million total settlement “since has been confirmed to me.” [emphasis added] The book itself doesn’t mention his receiving any confirmation for the total, and instead uses the “consensus” line. Is it Cohan’s practice to print unsourced material first, and then seek confirmation later?
To take one instance: among the most controversial items of the case was the DPD’s decision to allow Mike Nifong to assume personal command of the investigation. (Gottlieb cited the command in his straight-from-memory report, and all key events after that day were run through Nifong’s office.) In the book (p. 81), Cohan allowed Nifong to contest the claim while not denying that he spoke to Capt. Lamb of the DPD. But in a June 2009 filing—exactly the type of item that Cohan had implied to C-SPAN gave his book freshness—the city of Durham admitted that Gottlieb’s recollection was correct, though not explaining why Durham had allowed Nifong to take command of the police inquiry.