Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer assembles celebrity defense team in assault case

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Trevor Bauer is in big trouble with big risks. After being accused of assaulting a woman at his home in April and May, the Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher is facing investigations by police and Major League Baseball, which could lead to criminal charges and a lengthy suspension.

So what can he do about it in the meantime?

The answer from the Bauer camp is to assemble a dream team of celebrity problem solvers in his defense, including some linked to another dream team that helped O.J. Simpson get acquitted of murder charges in 1995.

His attorney in California is Shawn Holley, a member of the legal lineup that worked with famed lawyer Johnnie Cochran to defend Simpson, the former football star, during the so-called “Trial of the Century” in Los Angeles.

Her private investigator is Russell Greene, who has been gathering evidence in the case on Bauer’s behalf. He is the father of Cincinnati Reds pitching prospect Hunter Greene, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 amateur draft. Russell Greene also worked for Cochran as his private investigator from the mid-1990s until Cochran’s death in 2005.

“They’re just extremely aggressive and thorough, so I assume they’re finding everybody” with relevant information, said Dan Gilleon, an attorney in San Diego who has crossed paths with both of them in Southern California.

Bauer, 30, has been accused by a woman he met on Instagram of assaulting her during two sexual encounters in Pasadena, California, including choking her unconscious and punching her. Representatives for Bauer have denied the allegations and said his relations with her were consensual.

Greene declined comment on the case of Bauer, who has been on paid administrative leave by Major League Baseball since July 2. Bauer worked with Greene’s son Hunter before the 2020 season and went on to win the Cy Young Award with the Reds before signing with the Dodgers in February. In May 2020, Hunter Greene mentioned Bauer on Twitter and said, “Blessed to be able to use this time to learn from a great player and a great person.”

Now his father is effectively trying to help get him back on the mound.

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“It’s just a coincidence,” Russell Greene told USA TODAY Sports. “I’m Shawn’s investigator. Shawn and I go back all the way to Johnnie Cochran’s office.”

Greene and Holley have worked on cases involving singer Justin Bieber and the celebrity Kardashian family, whose late family patriarch, Robert Kardashian, also was part of Simpson’s criminal defense team as Simpson’s longtime friend.

Holley was brought in to assist Bauer’s agent, Jon Fetterolf, an experienced litigator based in Washington, D.C.

Holley was not available for comment. Her star has risen since the Simpson case with several high-profile clients, including actress Lindsay Lohan. In 2018, Holley also accompanied reality TV star Kim Kardashian to the White House for a meeting with President Trump as part of an effort to gain clemency for Alice Marie Johnson, who had been serving a life sentence for a first-time, nonviolent drug offense. After 21 years in prison, Johnson was freed shortly after that at age 63.

Holley recently became a name partner at the firm Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump Holley.

“Shawn and her law firm are as good as you get,” said David Ring, a Los Angeles attorney who has represented sexual assault survivors but is not involved in this case.

To help communicate with the news media during this controversy, Bauer’s team is working with Berk Communications, a public relations firm that Bauer has been involved with since before these alleged incidents. The company has separate experience with other high-profile clients who were in trouble, having run a publicity campaign to help get rapper Meek Mill out of prison as part of a justice reform effort, as well as having counseled baseball star Alex Rodriguez after he was suspended for violating baseball’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

The company declined comment. Meanwhile, uncertainty continues to build about Bauer’s future. On July 23, he faces a court hearing in Los Angeles over whether to leave in place a restraining order against Bauer that was requested by the woman he allegedly assaulted. 

“The police investigation is taking a very long time, and that’s unusual,” Ring said. “If it’s a rape case, then police act relatively quickly.”

In addition to uncertainty around the criminal investigation, Bauer faces questions about the immediate future of his baseball career just five months after he signed a three-year, $102 million contract with the Dodgers. Major League Baseball still could discipline him anyway based on the findings of its own investigation.

“Bauer has gotten himself into a s— storm,” Ring said.

And it might take a dream team like this to help him get out of it.

Follow reporter Brent Schrotenboer @Schrotenboer. E-mail: bschrotenb@usatoday.com

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