In January 2013, we published a post whose headline began with the words "Lance Armstrong Is a Liar." But in regard to an Aspen car crash that's turned into the latest public embarrassment for the multiple-time Tour de France victor and belatedly admitted cheater, he's not the person who told a falsehood. Instead, his girlfriend, Anna Hansen, apparently did so, albeit after alleged consultation with him. And now, he's hoping the lawyer who defended Kobe Bryant against sexual-assault charges in Colorado can help him out.
See also: Lance Armstrong Is a Liar -- and Boulder's Tyler Hamilton Told Us Two Years Ago, published January 2013
The best account we've found about what happened comes from the Aspen Daily News, which draws from police reports in the case.
On December 29, according to the paper, police responded to an address on West Francis Street in Aspen. The resident said he was the victim of a hit-and-run, and he wasn't the only one; two rides had been struck.
Later that day, another officer found a vehicle with front-end damage that suggested it might have been involved.
The owner: Armstrong, who splits his time between Aspen and Austin, Texas.
The cops subsequently quizzed Anna Hansen, Armstrong's girlfriend -- although she's quoted in the police report as describing him as something more, as you'll see. She told the officers she'd driven home from a party for the Aspen Art Museum the night before because "Lance had a little bit to drink" and had slid into a couple of parked cars en route. Hansen added that she'd informed one of the homeowners that she'd pay for the damages.
After the cops told Hansen she was obligated to inform the police immediately after accidents (something about which she said she was unaware), they wrote her two tickets. But her story reportedly raised suspicions among one of the officers, especially after he spoke to a valet at the St. Regis Aspen Resort, where the art museum event had taken place. The valet said Armstrong had been driving that night.
In response to this claim, Hansen said she and Armstrong had swapped places at a local City Market before the accident took place -- a tale she allegedly grew upset while telling.
The account unraveled further when police spoke to the homeowner Hansen had chatted with after the crash. The homeowner quoted her as saying, "I'm Anna, we're the Armstrongs, my husband's Lance, he was just driving too fast around the corner or something."
Hence, another police interview with Hansen, this time at the Pitkin County Courthouse. Here's how the Daily News recounts her exchange with the officer after he asked her who had been driving on the night in question:
"I asked, 'And Lance was driving the car when it crashed into those two other cars?'"
Hansen allegedly said yes.
"I asked Hansen if Armstrong asked her to take the blame for the accident once they got home.... She replied, 'No, that was a joint decision, and, um, you know we've had our family name smeared over every paper in the world in the last couple of years and honestly, I've got teenagers, I just wanted to protect my family because I thought, 'Gosh, Anna Hansen hit some cars, it's not going to show up in the papers, but Lance Armstrong hit some cars, it's going to be a national story.'"
Hansen denied that she'd taken the fall for Armstrong because he was blotto at the time of the crash and apologized for her actions -- a change of course that may explain why she hasn't been charged in the case.
The same can't be said for Armstrong, who's now facing the two citations that were originally given to Hansen. And to fight them, the Daily News reveals that he's secured the services of Pamela Mackey, the attorney who defended Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant against sexual assault charges out of Eagle County circa 2003 and 2004.
Armstrong and Mackey will presumably be side by side for his upcoming court date, set for March 17. And we're guessing the media might just show up as well.
Here's a CBS4 report about the case.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
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