By CBSLA Staff

INGLEWOOD (CBSLA) – Laraine Newman, an original cast member of “Saturday Night Live,” testified Wednesday in the trial against Robert Durst, who is charged with the December 2000 killing of Susan Berman, a writer with whom he had been close friends with for years after the two met at the University of California Los Angeles.

Newman testified that her longtime friend, Berman, told her long before she was killed that she’d provided a false alibi for Durst in connection with the disappearance of Kathie Durst, his first wife.

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Robert Durst in an Inglewood courtroom with his defense attorney Dick DeGuerin appearing before Judge Mark E. Windham in the trial of the real estate scion charged with murder of longtime friend Susan Berman in Benedict Canyon just before Christmas Eve 2000. Dursts murder trial was delayed more than a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images).

When asked by Deputy District Attorney John Lewis how she learned of Kathie Durst’s disappearance, Newman said she heard it from Berman.

“Susan told me that she had provided an alibi for him, for Bobby, in relation to the disappearance,” she said. “I remember her saying she made a phone call.”

Newman, who now works in voice-over animation, said she was 100% sure Berman told her about providing the false alibi.

“And in discussing this alibi, did she indicate to you whether or not in words whether this was an actual alibi or whether she had done something false?” the prosecutor asked.

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“It was something false,” Newman said, noting that she “responded negatively” to Berman, whom she said subsequently attempted to take back the statement. The two never discussed the subject again, she said.

During her testimony, Newman stated that she was “not thrilled to be in court” and felt “tremendous shame that I did not appreciate the gravity of what she was telling me.”

She also acknowledged a history of past drug use, but insisted she had “no doubt” that Berman made the statement about the alibi.

Newman is expected to be on the stand again Thursday for continued cross-examination by David Chesnoff, an attorney for Durst.


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