Hot Car Death: Testimony on Justin Ross Harris' Infidelity was 'Painful and Infuriating' to Ex, Says Source
An admitted former escort told a Georgia jury on Friday she had sex with Justin Ross Harris just weeks before the Georgia father allegedly murdered his 22-month-old son in 2014 by intentionally leaving him for hours in a hot car while he went to work.
The escort, Daniela Doerr, told the jury that Harris, 35, who is on trial for murder but claims his son’s death was an accident, was “very relaxed” during the encounter. She further described him as “dumpy.”
It’s unclear what the jury thought of the allegation, but at least one trial-watcher was deeply hurt: Harris’s ex-wife, Leanna Harris, who initially stood behind her husband before quietly filing for divorce earlier in 2016.
“This whole trial has been unbelievably hurtful to her,” a source close to Leanna Harris tells PEOPLE. “[The former escort’s] testimony in particular has been painful and infuriating. She really wanted the house and the kids and the picket fence with Ross, and it was all taken away from her.”
Harris doesn’t deny repeatedly cheating on his wife, including trysts with prostitutes.
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His attorney, Maddox Kilgore, acknowledged several “sexual sins” during the opening statements. He told jurors that they would hear about “immoral sexual behavior” and “graphic, filthy sexual talk” by his client. He even said that Harris “has earned every bit of shame that’s coming his way” for his admitted sexual improprieties.
On the day that Cooper died in the car, he allegedly exchanged sexual text messages with six different females. One of the females he allegedly sexted was just 16 years old. However, Kilgore said the alleged sexting was “no motive for him to murder the person he loved more than anybody in the world.”
“All of it is just awful for Leanna to hear,” says the source close to her. “She wasn’t naive. She knew that he had a big sexual appetite. But she never expected it to blow up in her face like this. It has been a nightmare.”
Still, the source says, Harris’ infidelity wasn’t the reason why she left him. “She’s grieving the loss of Cooper,” says the source. “And Ross is responsible for that. She believes it was an accident, but she just can’t stay married to him.”
Testimony resumed on Monday and is expected to continue throughout the week.