SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Barry Bonds’ estranged childhood friend underwent more cross examination Thursday as the slugger’s attorney attempted to portray Steve Hoskins as a revenge-seeker bitter from a messy business divorce.

Hoskins testified that he loaned former Bonds mistress Kimberly Bell $10,000 to hire an attorney after her own bitter split with Bonds in 2003.

Bell, like Hoskins, is a vital government witness because she plans to testify that Bonds told her of his steroid use. She is also expected to testify that she witnessed physical and mental changes in Bonds that prosecutors allege were side effects of steroid use.

Hoskins has testified that he strongly suspected Bonds was using steroids between 1999 and 2003. Hoskins on Thursday testified that Dr. Arthur Ting told him that a Bonds elbow injury was caused by steroid use.

Hoskins testified that around 1999 and 2000 he told Ting that Bonds was using steroids. Ting advised him to tell Bonds to stop using them, Hoskins testified.

Hoskins wrapped up his testimony Thursday morning.

Hoskins and Bonds grew up together in a San Francisco suburb. Hoskins worked for Bonds from 1993 until late March 2003 when Bonds had Hoskins sign a document effectively ending what was a lucrative business arrangement for Hoskins.

Hoskins on Wednesday denied accusations that he planned to extort Bonds in the aftermath of that split by secretly recording conversations about steroids with the slugger’s personal trainer and doctor. Hoskins said he made the recordings to convince Bonds’ father, Bobby Bonds, that his son was juicing.

But he conceded Wednesday that he was incorrect in insisting his secretly recorded conversation with trainer Greg Anderson occurred in late March 2003. Under cross examination from Bonds’ attorney Allen Ruby, Hoskins conceded the recording was made later. Ruby suggested that was an important inconsistency because that means the recording was made after Bonds had Hoskins sign a document on March 27, 2003, ending their business arrangement.

Nonetheless, Hoskins denied he had any malicious intentions and said he harbored no ill will toward Bonds at the time of the recording or now.

“I would want to help Barry then and would want to help Barry now,” Hoskins said.

Bonds, baseball’s all-time home runs leader, is being tried in federal court on four counts of lying to a grand jury and one of obstruction for telling a grand jury in 2003 that he never knowingly took performance-enhancing drugs.

Copyright Associated Press


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