To Oksana Grishuk, the evening of April 12th was just another day, with a simple business meeting scheduled for 8 p.m. at the St. Regis Resort Monarch Beach, an upscale resort hotel in Orange County, Calif.
But according to the two-time Olympic ice dance champion, it quickly turned into a nightmare when her dinner companion, a businessman in his 60's, slipped the date-rape drug GHB into her drink.
"I feel scared, and I feel paranoid," the 36-year-old skater said. "I am shocked, still shocked. I feel like I'm in a nightmare."
Grishuk, a single mother with a five-year-old daughter, Skyler, made it clear the only reason she is speaking to the press is to urge other women to be on their guard.
"I want to try to prevent this from happening to anyone else," she said. "People need to be more aware and more careful. It doesn't matter who you are or where you are. Look at my situation; I was in a totally classy business environment, with someone I knew and trusted, and I could have been killed."
What kind of meeting was this?
I went to discuss business with someone I knew for two years. We had discussed business before, and I was completely sure this person was very legitimate and trustworthy and well connected. I thought he could help me do my own line of vitamins and minerals made out of pure organic ingredients.
I actually chose [the St. Regis] because it was a calm atmosphere with beautiful surroundings where we could really talk and focus on business matters. He wanted to go somewhere else, but I thought it would be too noisy.
Did you ever leave the table?
No, and I want to make this clear -- I never went away from the table! I got there late, and he was already in the lounge having a cocktail. I said, 'I'm sorry I am late,' and he said 'Would you like something to drink, too?' I said no at first, but then we started to talk and he again said, 'Maybe you should have a drink,' and so I ordered myself a beverage.
I watched the bartender pour, but I was not paying close attention. I remember I looked away several times; I searched for something in my purse, like a business card.
How long was the meeting?
Well, we had made reservations for dinner. The hostess came by and said the table was ready. I said okay and was going to leave the drink there, but [her business associate] said, 'Why not finish it?' and because the drinks there are so expensive, like 15 or 20 dollars, I felt some pressure not to leave it there. So the hostess took it and put it in front of me on the table on the right-hand side.
According to Grishuk, she took only one more sip of the drink before her dinner, a lamb entrée, arrived. She then ordered a glass of red wine. Meanwhile, her dinner companion left to use the restroom, arriving back some minutes later in a nervous state.
I started eating dinner, and I noticed his behavior was really weird. He kind of put his little finger to his upper lip and rested his elbow on the table. Our conversation got weird; it turned from business to more personal issues about himself and his lovers.
At first, I just thought he was asking my advice, because I knew him for two years, but then it got almost nasty. I said, 'I don't really want to talk bout this,' and he said he was sorry. I still had the glass of wine in the middle of table between me and this person, and again, I know I looked in my purse and checked my phone to see if my babysitter called. So yes, I was distracted.
Soon, Grishuk started feeling shaky, with burning pains in her chest. At first, she thought she may have eaten something that did not agree with her, but then noticed white flakes and a cloudy substance in her glass of red wine.
I saw a pill at the bottom of the glass; I said, 'Oh my God, I have a pill in my drink!' and this person just said, 'What?'
I took the pill in my hand carefully and got up to leave. He said, 'Where are you going?' and I said I would be right back. Then he said, 'Just throw the pill away.' What kind of a reaction is that for any person? Even a stranger would have been worried for me.
Did you seek medical help?
Absolutely! I didn't feel like I could drive, so the police people drove me to the hospital [South Coast Medical Center]. I was there by 10:30 pm. The police took all different kinds of tests, and I'm still waiting for the results of the blood test. I'm a little upset it's taken so long. They now say I must wait 10 more days.
They did said they [had the results of] my urine test, and they could tell I had not taken heroin or some heavy drugs like this. I said, 'Of course not, I don't take drugs.' Then they said they had to send the blood to the lab and wait for the results. When I followed up to see how long it would take, the investigator told me [it would] take another 10 days, and that was already with a rush.
Because I saved the pill, it was not dissolved completely in the drink, and I gave it to the police. They said they could find out what kind of drug it was within a few days. They already know it was GHB, which can cause death. But they are waiting for the blood test, to see if [the GHB] was in my blood.
Are the police still investigating this incident?
Yes, as far as I know. But honestly, I don't like how they are working on this case. After I called the police, I gave them the pill, and they called the paramedics and I went to the hospital.
At first they promised my blood test would take no more than three days. Now, it has already been a week and a half ago, and the detective is telling me it will not be ready for another 10 days. I am suspicious. Why did one officer say one thing and another officer said something else 10 days later?
Another thing, the officers told me they cannot give me [the written] result. They said they will just tell me over the phone. That is not enough, I need it in writing. And he said I would have to hire an attorney, and he would file a subpoena, and then probably I would get [the written results].
I feel like something is being hidden from me. I'm from Russia, and I know sometimes things happen with the police, and I suspect somebody bought somebody.
Will you hire an attorney?
I am thinking about it. I know it will cost a lot of money, though.
Did the detectives on the case tell you anything else?
Yes, another policeman went back to the hotel [and] found another pill in my first drink, exactly the same pill [GHB] that was in [the red wine]. Then they told me there will be a district attorney to talk to me after the blood results are in. It doesn't make sense it would take so long. I think they are withholding something.
There is tons of circumstantial evidence of who did it. In fact, the police also have a [taped] phone conversation, and this person admitted that when he left our table, he took Viagra in the bathroom. And he left the scene as soon as I called the police. He did not even make sure I was okay.
Also, the fact is the hotel should have a video, but they are hiding this information from me. Someone said they did have video, but not covering the area [where we were seated]. How bizarre is that?
Sherriff's spokesman Jim Amormino responded
"We are taking this matter very seriously. There are legal steps we have to follow during the investigation. We have to make sure we have all of our ducks in a row, have all the toxicology reports back and that we not rush through the investigation.
"I know sometimes it's hard for victims to understand police procedure and they get frustrated. We want to do a thorough, complete investigation -- we can't just rush out and arrest somebody."