Robert Durst leaves federal court in an Orleans Parish sheriff’s vehicle after his arraignment April 14 in New Orleans. (Gerald Herbert / Associated Press)
Robert Durst told Los Angeles prosecutors in an interview last year that he was high on methamphetamines during portions of his infamous interview in the 2015 HBO miniseries “The Jinx,” according to court papers released Friday.
Sitting in a New Orleans jail, Durst agreed to a nearly three-hour interview with prosecutors on the morning after his March 14, 2015, arrest and said he "had to be … swooped" and "speeding" during some of the more than 20 hours of interviews he gave during the filming of "The Jinx."
“I was on meth, I was on meth the whole time. And, when I looked at the little pieces of it, I was going like this and like that. And it was — and it should have been obvious,” Durst said, according to a transcript filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court and obtained by The Times.
The revelations come as Durst awaits what is expected to be a sensational murder trial, with prosecutors accusing him in the 2000 slaying of his friend and writer Susan Berman.
Durst made the statements after he was arrested in the cold-case killing of Berman at her Benedict Canyon cottage, a slaying that was featured prominently in the HBO documentary.
The six-part series explored the disappearance of his wife, the death of Berman and his acquittal on murder charges in the slaying of a neighbor in Texas. It came to a dramatic finale with footage of Durst muttering into a microphone during a bathroom break: “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”
The final episode’s revelation was compounded by what happened off-camera. On the eve of the episode’s 2015 air date, authorities arrested Durst in New Orleans, where he had been staying in a hotel under a fake name. He had marijuana, a .38-caliber revolver, more than $40,000 in cash and a mask, according to court papers.
The next morning before court, L.A. County Deputy Dist. Atty. John Lewin questioned Durst for about two hours — without defense attorneys present, they say.
Attorneys for Durst filed court papers Thursday that challenge some of the evidence against the eccentric real estate heir, including the interview with the prosecutor. They argue that the high-profile murder case was tainted by the improper jailhouse interrogation.
In his response motion filed Friday, Lewin said he included the full transcript of Durst’s interview because defense attorneys made “baseless allegations regarding the propriety of the interview.”
Lewin has previously told the court that Durst voluntarily participated in the questioning, according to court papers. The newly releasd transcript includes a portion in which LAPD Det. Mike Whelan reads Durst his Miranda rights.
“Anything you say may be used against you in court. Do you understand?” Whelan asked.
“I understand,” Durst replied.
Durst is in the middle of serving a federal prison term after he pleaded guilty in February to illegally possessing the .38-caliber revolver at the time of his New Orleans arrest. He arrived in Southern California in November and remains in custody in L.A. County jail.
In his first court appearance last month, Durst sat in a wheelchair and pleaded not guilty, telling the judge, “I did not kill Susan Berman.”
In the controversial jailhouse questioning, Durst touches on his feelings toward his family, his acquittal of murder charges in Texas, and the 1982 disappearance of his wife, Kathleen. But Lewin, the prosecutor, often returns to the slaying of Berman, the daughter of a Las Vegas mobster whom Durst met while both were studying at UCLA.
During the wide-ranging interrogation, Durst described himself as “the worst fugitive the world has ever met," referring to his six weeks on the lam in 2001 when facing murder charges in Texas.
At one point, Durst expressed surprise that his lawyers allowed him to take part in the documentary “The Jinx.”
The prosecutor shot back, reminding Durst that his legal team had repeatedly discouraged him from participating.
Later, the prosecutor confronts him and asks, "If you had killed Susan, would you tell me?"
"No," Durst replies.
Times staff writer Richard Winton contributed to this report.
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6:25 p.m.: This article was updated with additional details from a court filing.
This article was originally published at 5:55 p.m.