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Keep Houston Press Free
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The Osteen Trial: Joel Takes The Stand

They've broken for lunch at the Trial of the Century, with Joel Osteen His Own Self on the stand.

No real fireworks occurred as he was questioned by plaintiff's attorney Reginald McKamie. But the preacher, whose wife was accused of being a racist yesterday, actually played the "one of my best friends is black" card.

Osteen said one of his closest friends growing up in Humble was African-American. Oddly enough, though, Osteen didn't seem to know that "Humble" is pronounced with a silent H, so maybe he was making the whole thing up.

The best moment so far: McKamie asked Osteen "if you would characterize your church as a very profitable family business."

That brought defense attorney Rusty Hardin out of his seat.

"All we're doing now is cheap trash," he told Judge Patricia Hancock. "I object to it."

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Osteen also took extra pains to emphasize to the jury that just because he and his wife paid a $3,000 fine to the FAA over the infamous drop-of-something-on-a-first-class-seat incident, they were in no way, no how, never ever ever admitting any wrongdoing.

They might have considered it a tip, for all he knew. (He didn't really add that part.)

Testimony resumes after lunch.

-- Richard Connelly

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