The mother of a 4-year-old boy who drowned in rock drummer Tommy Lee’s pool testified Wednesday she would have insisted he bring his water wings if she’d known there would be swimming at a birthday party for Lee’s son.
Actress Ursula Karven was questioned by attorneys for a second day before Superior Court jurors. She and her husband TV producer James Veres are suing Lee for wrongful death – for alleged negligence in not having a lifeguard or anyone available to perform CPR.
Karven said she first learned there was swimming when a German exchange student who went to the party to watch over Daniel Karven-Veres and his older brother returned home without them, to get ready to go to a concert.
She said Christian Weihs told her: “Don’t worry. They’re out of the water now,” and that he had turned over care of the boys to a nanny for three other children at the party.
“I told Christian I didn’t know there would be swimming and I would have given Daniel his water wings,” said Karven, who also testified Daniel was “scared of the water.”
“But Christian said the pool part was over and that an animal show, actually a magic show, was to start and then cake, and Daniel loved cake,” she said.
Daniel’s father, James Veres, testified that he had tried to teach Daniel to swim.
“Daniel had a flotation device called an ‘egg.’ He didn’t go anywhere (near water) without that or his water wings,” Veres said
The party was held June 16, 2001, for the fifth birthday of Brandon, son of the former Motley Crue drummer and actress Pamela Anderson.
Lee testified Tuesday, repeatedly placing the responsibility for the children on the guardians who accompanied them to the party at his Malibu estate. He said every child arrived with a parent or baby sitter to look after them.