This is just weird.
If Jeff Skilling's lawyers are right -- that he and his wife were taken to the hospital after being attacked by two men on New York City's Upper East Side on Friday morning -- the case of the beleaguered ex-Enron CEO will proceed without a ripple.
But if law enforcement's version of the incident is true -- that Skilling was intoxicated and accosting strangers incoherently, asking if they were FBI agents -- a judge could find he violated the terms of his bond, which requires he not be excessively intoxicated.
Such a violation could result in his $5 million bond being revoked, detention for a month or even until his trial, and his being forced to undergo counseling. Skilling, 50, has pleaded not guilty to 35 felony counts relating to the demise of Enron Corp.
Details of the incident, first reported by the Associated Press on Friday afternoon, were supported by law enforcement officials.
But Skilling's attorney Bruce Hiler said the story is "grossly inaccurate."
Police found Skilling at the corner of Park Avenue and East 73rd Street and determined he might be an "emotionally disturbed person," a police source told the Associated Press.
Law enforcement sources said Skilling was at two Manhattan bars -- the neighborhood bar American Trash and the nearby and more hip and celebrity-prone Vudu Lounge -- where he is alleged to have run up to patrons and pulled open their clothes.
Hiler said Skilling did not go into either bar.
"He was shouting at them, `You're an FBI agent and you're following me,' " law enforcement officials confirmed. They said Skilling did the same thing to people on the street.
Skilling was not charged with a crime, which would likely cause his bond to be revoked, and he was later released from the hospital.
Hiler said Skilling's wife, Rebecca Carter, the former Enron board of directors secretary, was knocked unconscious and suffered a concussion. She was also tested at the hospital but left against a doctor's advice, he said.
Officials said there were a number of 911 calls made to the police by different people, not all from the same address because he was moving down the street. That could be consistent with Skilling's lawyer's version.
It is unknown if there was any fight, officials said. They added that Skilling's wife could have gone with him voluntarily in the police car.
Should this issue be brought up in a revocation hearing, it could be on the judge's own request or on the request of the probation department or the government.
Asked for comment Friday, Enron Task Force Director Andrew Weissmann said, "We will respond to Mr. Skilling's attorneys in court."
"It's impossible to tell from here which story is true," said Houston attorney David Berg. "If he was accosted for no reason, this matters little to the case. But if the police story is true, it's an example of the kind of extraordinary pressure put on a person who has fallen from such a high place."