Attorney: Bush deposition set for April 23

Reggie Bush is scheduled to give a long-sought deposition next

week in a lawsuit by a fledgling sports marketer who is trying to

recoup nearly $300,000 in cash and gifts the star running back and

his family allegedly accepted while he was playing at the

University of Southern California.

The deposition is scheduled for April 23 in the office of

attorney Brian Watkins. Watkins represents Lloyd Lake in his

lawsuit against Bush, the former Heisman Trophy winner who now

plays for the New Orleans Saints.

Lake’s former partner, Michael Michaels, is scheduled for a

deposition next Wednesday, Watkins said. Michaels reached an

out-of-court settlement with Bush’s family in April 2007.

“It’s been three years in the making so it’s going to be very

interesting to see whether or not Michael Michaels’ and Reggie

Bush’s stories will contradict each other,” Watkins said.

Watkins said Michaels’ settlement with Bush included a

confidentiality agreement.

“Now he has to talk because he’s being deposed,” Watkins

said.

“Basically Reggie Bush bought his silence for $300,000, so he

was unable to speak to the media, and, of course, cooperate with

the NCAA,” Watkins said. “Reggie Bush always has maintained he

didn’t do anything wrong, so it will be very interesting to see if

Michael Michaels’ testimony corroborates that of Reggie Bush or

contradicts it.”

Lake and Michaels were trying to attract Bush as a client for

their marketing firm, New Era. Bush did not sign with New Era.

The NCAA and Pac-10 are investigating whether Bush and his

parents took improper benefits. Bush has not met with NCAA and

Pac-10 investigators, and has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Michaels owned a San Diego-area house where Bush’s parents

allegedly lived rent-free.

If Bush is found retroactively ineligible, he could lose his

2005 Heisman Trophy.

If the NCAA determines that USC violated rules, the football

program could have to forfeit victories from those seasons – when

the Trojans won a national championship and lost in the BCS title

game against Texas – and face additional penalties.

In late December, Bush lost his bid to go to confidential

arbitration to settle Lake’s lawsuit.

Watkins tried to take Bush’s deposition in February 2008, but

said the running back didn’t show up.

A few weeks earlier, Watkins and Lake walked out of a

deposition, saying that a bodyguard for Bush’s attorney opened his

jacket to expose a pistol.