Prosecutors in Orange County, California, recently dropped charges against James R. Halstead (see bottom right), accused of slipping Olympic ice dancer Oksana "Pasha" Grishuk (see right) a date-rape drug at a hotel bar lounge on April 12. The criminal case against Halstead was dismissed for lack of sufficient evidence, and Grishuk's attorney, noted victims' rights attorney/media hound Gloria Allred, stated that her client is "very disappointed" in this decision. Allred further stated that, "I hope that this decision by the D.A. will not deter other women from contacting law enforcement if they believe that someone has attempted to victimize them by placing a drug in their drink." (read LA Times article here)
Halstead claims that this is a media stunt by a spurned woman and that he and Grishuk were romantically involved for over three years. She was apparently upset that he was breaking up with her and not considering marrying her while he was going through a divorce. Grishuk denies that they had anything but a business relationship involving a clothing and vitamin line. And further, Grishuk denies that she herself put the date-rape drug in her own drink when Halstead left to use the restroom for a few minutes at the lounge. Halstead, who is 61-years-old, issued a statement explaining "his side" and also apologized to his wife and three sons for his behavior, which he described as "probably the worst case of midlife crisis in recent U.S. history." Grishuk is 36-years-old and has a five-year-old daughter from a prior relationship. She has not decided whether to pursue this matter further.
I don't know what to believe after reading all this. Grishuk was an amazing ice dancer, winning two Olympic gold medals (1994 & 1998) with partner Evgeny Platov. But she has been known to act in poor judgment and I think the skating world's view of her is mixed. Halstead is no angel himself -- in the early 90s, he was put on probation for investor fraud. Incidentally, in case anyone can assist, I just wanted clarification on something: Is having an affair when you're 61 called a "midlife crisis?" And also, doesn't Grishuk above resemble a young Diane Sawyer? I really think this is a case for Judge Judy to say "Baloney!" to one or both parties.