Fri, Jun 13, 2008 - Page 22 News List

Skater denies she put date-rape drug in her own drink


Former Olympic ice dancer Oksana Grishuk speaks at a news conference at the Orange County Sheriff's Headquarters in Santa Ana, California, on May 23.


Former world and Olympic ice dance champion Oksana Grishuk denies she had a romance with a man she accused of putting a date-rape drug in her drinks — and she dismisses suspicions that she did it herself.

“I’m a single mom. I have a five-year-old daughter who I love more than anything in the world. Why would I risk my life?” Grishuk told the Orange County Register in an interview on Tuesday — a day after a judge dismissed the case against James Halstead for lack of evidence.

“There was no one at the table except me and this person,” she said. “If you’re smart you’ll come to the right understanding of who could have done it.”

Halstead, 61, was charged with one felony count of administering a drug after Grishuk, 36, reported finding pills dissolved in drinks she had during an April 12 meeting with him at a Newport Beach hotel.

The drug was found to be Nimetazepam, which is similar to the date-rape drug GHB. However, tests found no traces of it in Grishuk’s blood and prosecutors said surveillance tape from the hotel did not provide any evidence of who placed the pills.

Halstead has told reporters that he and Grishuk had a romance but he had refused to marry her. He also said he believes she slipped the pill into her drink.

Grishuk has denied any romance with Halstead and said their relationship was strictly professional.

“It’s an absolute lie,” she said.

Grishuk won four world championship ice dancing titles with partner Evgeny Platov and gold medals for Russia in ice dancing in 1994 and 1998 Winter Olympics.

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