Kimberly Bell, Barry Bonds' ex-mistress, wants to shine in the sun. She waited in the shade for a long time. According to "Game of Shadows", Bell appeared as the perfect paramour for Bonds: she kept in the background, never wanting to call attention to herself. Bonds promised her security, then never delivered. He skipped town on the next flight out, destined for glory and for infamy, and Kim Bell was left holding the bag. (pics: top 2 - Kim Bell courtesy of Playboy; bottom - Kim Bell before makeover; middle- Bonds' new friends)
Now, Kimberly Bell holds her former beau Barry, by the 'balls', so to speak. Bell may merge as a star witness if Bonds ever comes to trial for perjury in the BALCO grand jury. Bell remains as an intimate who knows what really went on between Barry and the needle.
The New York Daily News may be serving as PR vehicle for Playboy, which features Bell posing in an upcoming issue (likely to be a blockbuster seller). Nonetheless, the Daily News carries an interesting Kim Bell piece tonight.
In the days before he became violent, in the days before he threatened to chop off Kimberly Bell's head and leave her body in a ditch, Barry Bonds would stand in front of a mirror and fret about how steroids were changing his body.
His body had grown thicker, his back was pocked with acne, his hair had fallen out and his testicles had shriveled when Bonds asked his former mistress if she thought anyone would suspect he was on the juice.
"Do I look bloated?" Bonds wanted to know. "Does it look funny? Do you think this is obvious?"
No, Barry, going from 6-1 185 to 245 or so will go unnoticed. Don't think about it.
"I don't see how anyone could not have known, but everybody looked the other way," said Bell, who claims the slugger admitted using the juice to her in 1999. "He surrounds himself with yes people. I don't think he ever considered where this would lead, and as long as he was selling tickets, the Giants were going to cater to him."
The two met on the rebound, supplying each other with emotional support. However, the age-old boy-girl story ensued: boy meets girl; boy falls for girl; starts taking testosterone, the clear, the cream, HGH, HCG, clomid, insulin, and modafanil; and things go awry between boy and girl; girl testifies to grand jury. Seen it a thousand times.
Bell says she fell in love with a lean, charismatic Bonds in 1994. She was young and single, he was divorcing his first wife, and both had emotional wounds from their childhoods. Bell grew up without her father; Bonds' dad, former Yankee Bobby Bonds, was emotionally distant. She offered Bonds a sounding board, a shoulder to lean on when the pressures of superstardom became too great. He became a father figure, a big, strapping protector.
The relationship started to sour, she says, after Bonds started using performance-enhancing drugs. "(Trainer Greg) Anderson was always at spring training with us, everywhere we went. Barry used to have a little satchel, and in the mornings he would say 'Hey, I need to go talk with Greg.' They'd grab the satchel and go into a room, and then I'd hear the door lock."
Some deny 'roid rage, however those steroid hormones do affect the brain, as Bell well knows:
Bonds was always moody - "I always figured he had PMS, like a woman," Bell said – but the drugs radically changed his behavior as well as his body. He became a different person, controlling, threatening and finally violent.
"It went from 'I want to know where you are at' to 'I'm gonna f------ kill you. I'm gonna cut your head off and leave you in a ditch.'"
She last saw Bonds in 2003, right before federal agents raided BALCO and arrested Anderson and others.
Bonds deserted Bell right before BALCO broke; he Casablanca-ed out on her. And that started the beginning of a beautiful relationship between Bell and the media. Read the Daily News story for more sordid details of good-lovin' gone bad.