Bob Bashara’s mistress frequently tried to end their relationship because of his constant lying but time and time couldn’t resist his aggressive pursuits, she testified Thursday.
Rachel Gillett and other witnesses also testified on the fourth day of Bashara’s preliminary examination for his wife’s murder about the couple’s alternative lifestyle — BDSM, bondage, domination, sadomasochism. Bashara was “Master Bob” and she was his slave, sometimes referred to as “Bella” and Bashara’s “Little Princess.”
“In the BDSM community, one partner is normally dominant and one submissive,” she said. “I’m extremely passive, and Bob is extremely dominant.”
Bashara told a second woman, Janet Leehmann of Oregon, who Bashara was pursuing for a third member of their relationship, that he and Gillett engaged in “breath play,” nearly every day and Gillett “loves it.”
But during a weekend visit to Leehmann about 10 days before the murder, he choked Leehmann from behind, and she said she “passed out cold,” indicating she didn’t like it. She said she was no longer interested in a relationship.
The hearing in 36th District Court, held in the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in Detroit, will determine whether there is enough evidence to proceed with a murder trial in Wayne County Circuit Court in the same building.
The building was shut down early Wednesday afternoon due to a power outage and was operating on a generator, with some of the floors closed.
Bashara, 55, is accused of murdering and conspiring to murder his wife, Jane, 56, a Mount Clemens native, in the garage of their Grosse Pointe Park home Jan 24, 2012. Her body was found the next day in her SUV parked in an east-side Detroit alley.
Joe Gentz, 49, formerly of St. Clair Shores, has testified that he strangled Jane Bashara under the threat of and promise of payment from Bashara. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and is serving 17 to 28 years in prison, agreeing to testify against Bashara.
After a break from Gillett’s testimony Thursday morning, Judge Kenneth King admonished Bashara and Gillett for signaling to each other, both on Wednesday and Thursday.
“I witnessed some non-verbal communication between the defendant and the witness, putting his hand over his heart” on Wednesday, King said. “There will be no such thing tolerated. If I find it necessary, I will have Mr. Bashara removed from the courtroom.”
Bashara started to explain to the judge, “I have a skin rash on my chest,” when his attorney, Mark Procida, nodded and tapped Bashara’s arm.
While cross-examining Gillett, defense attorney Nancy Shell derided Gillett for her inability to end the relationship despite his many lies, such as saying his wife was dead and then they were separated, and claiming their divorce was final, as well as trying to pursue other women.
She complained that while she exposed him to her friends and family, he kept he shielded away from his family and friends.
“I’m too soft, too loving to be the other woman,” she told him.
But after each episode, he wooed her hard, sending her flowers, buying her lunch and promising he had a “plan” to spend the rest of his life with her.
Shell said, “You didn’t realize you were being strung along by Mr. Bashara?”
“Yes, I did,” Gillett answered.
Gillett read many emails, mostly filled with his promises and love declarations....