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What Robert Durst Had to Say While Testifying at His Trial

'The Jinx' subject denies killing his best friend, Susan Berman, in 2000
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 10, 2021 1:40 AM CDT
Robert Durst Testifies at His Murder Trial
In this still image taken from the Law & Crime Network court video, real estate heir Robert Durst asks if he can remove his face mask during his murder trial on Monday, Aug. 9, 2021, in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Inglewood, Calif.   (Law & Crime Network via AP, Pool)

(Newser) – Robert Durst took the stand in his own murder trial Monday for the first of what is expected to be several days of testimony. The 78-year-old millionaire real estate tycoon is accused of murdering his best friend, Susan Berman, in 2000 to stop her from possibly implicating him in the 1982 disappearance of his first wife—a disappearance in which he has never been charged and in which he insists he was not involved. Durst, who suffers from a number of physical ailments including bladder cancer, appeared in a wheelchair and looking frail, CNN reports. He denied killing Berman, and said he doesn't know who did, NBC News reports. His lawyers say Durst simply found Berman's body and left the scene in a panic, Fox News reports.

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In what NBC describes as "meandering" testimony, the subject of the documentary The Jinx discussed his mother's death in a fall from the roof of the family home when he was 7, a health food store he once owned, and how he met Berman at the University of California, Los Angeles, in the 1960s. They bonded over their similarities: Both were wealthy, had hard childhoods, and had parents who were dead (both of Berman's, and one of Durst's). He said they were never involved romantically. Fox says Durst struggled to hear people speaking, and often continued speaking after the prosecution objected and he was instructed to stop. His testimony will resume Wednesday. (Read more Robert Durst stories.)

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