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LAS VEGAS -- The alleged girlfriend of Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons led a secret life on behalf of Gibbons, according to a sworn deposition filed in a divorce case.
8 News Now first revealed the existence of the deposition Sunday night.
Under oath, a Las Vegas woman who says she was a close friend of Gibbons' alleged paramour provided details about out-of-state trips that were made on Gibbons behalf, possibly to pick up cash payments.
The governor told 8 News Now he has never accepted cash payments from anyone and that he will sue KLAS-TV if this story is aired.
The deposition was given under oath and penalty of perjury by Wendy Mazaros. She says she was close to Gibbons' longtime friend, Leslie Sferrazza Durant, an ex-Playboy model whose name has often been linked romantically to Mr. Gibbons.
Mazaros says she didn't want to testify in the divorce case but was talked into it by the lawyer for First Lady Dawn Gibbons. What she said during her statement goes far beyond mere hanky-panky.
"Leslie liked to go and sit in front of Jim Gibbons' house on Windy Hill and kind of stalk him. And one time, Kathy Karrasch was driving away from the house and Leslie was frantic and mad and she just started chasing her up Windy Hill, and I thought we were going to crash," said Mazaros.
Mazaros said in her sworn deposition that she lived in a Reno house for more than six months with Durant -- the one-time Playboy model who Wendy says had a long-term romantic relationship with a married man, Jim Gibbons.
The deposition also alleges Gibbons was carrying on an affair with a woman named Kathy Karrasch and that Leslie was very jealous of her.
Last Friday, Gibbons said under oath he never had intimate relations with either woman and denied more serious allegations made by Mazaros, specifically about out-of-state trips taken by Leslie Durant in the 90's.
Wendy testified that she accompanied Durant on perhaps a dozen trips -- some to northern California but most to San Diego. Wendy says they would go to California every other week.
"She was going down there to take care of some business," she said. "For Jim Gibbons."
Wendy testified that she did not know the nature of the business for certain, but that on a few occasions she saw business people the pair met slip envelopes or packages to Leslie.
On just a few occasions, she saw what was in the packages -- money. On one occasion, she says there was a gym bag of money in the car as they drove back to Nevada.
"I said, ‘Why do you have this kind of money?' She said, ‘I can't talk about it. We just need to get it back to Jimmy,'" she said.
Mazaros testified that only on one occasion did she see money transferred from Leslie to Gibbons. She says it happened outside of Adele's Restaurant in Reno.
During the deposition, Gibbons' attorney Gary Silverman asked if Wendy ever kept any money for herself. She told him she would not touch it.
She said she did not come forward with the information because no one asked her about it and she was afraid of what Gibbons would do.
For her divorce from the governor, Dawn Gibbons hired former Washoe District Attorney Cal Dunlap, who spent three months trying to convince Mazaros to testify.
As a test, he met her in San Diego to see if she could find the beach house where she and Leslie sometimes stayed.
Wendy mistakenly believed the place was co-owned by Gibbons and Leslie. It wasn't. It was owned by a developer who later built large projects in northern Nevada.
But Mazaros found it for Dunlap, who indicated he believed the story she has told.
"He told me over and over again that they have checked out my story and everything hits right," she said.
Mazaros's long-time attorney Herb Sachs says he also found the story credible, which is why he allowed her to testify under oath.
"I didn't have trouble believing any of this stuff because it came from her and I know she knows these people and doesn't exaggerate," he said. "The Governor is a public official. He's running for re-election. The public should know what this man is."
Gibbons spent part of Monday telling bloggers that Mazaros's deposition is totally false and that he will file a lawsuit against everyone involved in telling the story, which mirrors the message he left for 8 News Now Producer Ian Russell over the weekend.
"I want to tell you it's an absolute, stunning lie that I accepted any kind of money from any developer at any time, nor did Leslie give me anything. And I want to tell you that every statement in that deposition, that you must have possession of, is an absolute lie and I plan to litigate for slander and libel against you personally, George Knapp personally and your station if you put it out there," he said on a voicemail message.
At the time most of these trips were allegedly taken, Gibbons was no longer in the Nevada Legislature and had not yet been elected to the United States Congress. So it's not at all clear why anyone would send him money or even that there was anything wrong with it. Gibbons says it never took place.
Another point raised by Gibbons' camp Monday is that Wendy is dead wrong in her belief that Gibbons owned a condo in Reno. We could find no property records to indicate Gibbons owned a condo there.
Wendy says she was relating what Leslie had told her but that Gibbons could have rented the place rather than owned it.
Kathy Karrasch says the deposition is laughable and called Gibbons a Boy Scout.
No one likes being sued, but the story will continue to unfold, both here and in other media.