After more than two months of testimony, the jury of six men and six women took four days to dismiss the largely circumstantial evidence. Federal prosecutors charged that [Bess Myerson] had fixed [Nancy Capasso]'s $15 million divorce by hiring [Sukhreet Gabel] as her $19,000-a-year assistant in 1983 while Myerson was New York City's cultural affairs commissioner.
Several witnesses, who Myerson's attorney, Jay Goldberg, said would have been rejected by "The Gong Show," provided titillating sidelights. Shirley Harrod, who was fired as Capasso's housekeeper, regaled the trial with stories about Myerson trying on Nancy Capasso's bikinis, but did little to buttress the government's case.
Some of Myerson's actions were hard for the defense to explain. There was her use of aliases when calling Judge Gabel and her admittedly false letter to [Edward I. Koch] after word of Sukhreet Gabel's hiring surfaced in the New York Post. There was also Myerson's apparently cruel treatment of Sukhreet Gabel after her mother cut Capasso's alimony, which included moving Sukhreet's desk near the bathroom and eventually firing her.
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