I mean, even to this day, there are movies that I didn’t like five or ten years ago that I’m only getting now. I never liked ‘Goodfellas’ until I went through this shit but now I get it (laughs). I watched it once and thought ‘That’s a stupid movie. I don’t know anything about the mafia or how any of that worked.’ For the longest time in my life, I didn’t think there was a mafia. I never went to the city, how would I know? But now I get it.
Remember the conversation Lance Armstrong addressed in the SCA deposition videos (clip #1)? Here it is. This piece of audio is that talk between Frankie Andreu, Armstrong agent Bill Stapleton, and Armstrong friend Bart Knaggs, secretly recorded by Andreu. It took place during the '04 Tour, right around the time David Walsh and Pierre Ballester's book L.A. Confidentiel came out. The background on this conversation can be fleshed out from the SCA records:
Excerpts from Betsy Andreu's trial testimony:
He (Armstrong) wanted me to say basically that David Walsh, anything he said was a lie... Because he told Frankie in the conversation he had with him in the July 2004 Tour.
...Frankie was in the parking lot. Soigneurs from the team came up to him and said, Lance wants to see you. So Frankie went into Lance's hotel room, and Lance said, Bill wants to talk to you about the hospital incident, and Frankie said, okay.
Well, Frankie had a digital tape recorder because he was also writing articles, and he said -- he either said, do you think I should tape it, or I think I should tape it. What do you think? And I said, hell, yeah. Because we both said, you can't trust him.
From Lance Armstrong's deposition:
Q: Did you know that Mr. Stapleton and Mr. Knaggs were going to go meet with Mr. Andreu to discuss the possibility of -- of obtaining an affidavit or a statement from Ms. Andreu regarding Mr. Walsh's book?
A. No. Not that I remember.
Q. So you didn't authorize them to go do it, or tell them to go do it. They just went and did it?
A. Not to my recollection.
Q. Did they report back to you that they had met with Mr. Andreu at the 2004 Tour de France and had talked to him about the book?
A. Not to my recollection.
This conversation is a little window into how the Armstrong myth is maintained. Leaks are ferreted out and those who speak out are punished. Journalists who dare challenge the myth are attacked and discredited. Also note that Stapleton and Knaggs, unlike Armstrong in his deposition, never challenge the fact that the 'hospital room incident' occurred, nor do they claim that the Andreu's lied about it. Their only concern is who leaked it.
The transcript is here if you want to follow along.
From Bill Stapleton's deposition, taken 9/1/05
Q. Have you spoken to -- for example, have you spoken to Mr. Greg LeMond about this case?
Q. Kathy LeMond?
Q. Betsy Andreu?
Q. Frankie Andreu?
Q. Okay. Chris Carmichael about this case?
Q. Have you spoken to any of those five individuals at all over the last year?
A. The rest -- I saw Frankie at the Tour, you know, on and off outside the bus, say hello. The other three, no.
Q. No discussions, phone calls, meetings, in-person visits from any of those individuals --
Q. Okay. Have -- have you yourself asked for statements from any potential witness in this case, written statements?... Have you -- have you personally yourself asked any individual to give a statement, a written statement or affidavit, in connection with this case?
A. I don't think so.
Betsy Andreu was deposed on 10/25. She presented this recording at that time. Armstrong attended the deposition and was blindsided by it.
You know that old box of bike parts you've put in your closet?
Recorded inside the press room at Grenoble Velodrome, we bring you Episode #8 of the Insider from the 2011 Tour de France, our final podcast.
Recorded 1,850 metres above sea level atop the famed Alpe d'Huez, we bring you Episode #7 of the Insider podcast from the 2011 Tour de France.