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Originally published June 30, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified June 30, 2007 at 2:03 AM

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Nowak didn't drive in diapers, former astronaut's lawyer says

Former astronaut Lisa Nowak didn't wear diapers during her 950-mile road trip to confront a romantic rival, her lawyer said Friday, disputing...

The Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — Former astronaut Lisa Nowak didn't wear diapers during her 950-mile road trip to confront a romantic rival, her lawyer said Friday, disputing one of the more bizarre details to emerge from the NASA love triangle.

"The biggest lie in this preposterous tale that has been told is that my client drove from Houston, Texas, to Orlando, Florida, nonstop, wearing a diaper," Donald Lykkebak said after filing motions to suppress evidence in Nowak's criminal case.

The tidbit that Nowak wore diapers during her trip was written in the police report filed after her arrest in February.

"I then asked Mrs. Nowak why she had baby diapers," according to the charging affidavit written by Officer William "Chris" Becton. "Mrs. Nowak said that she didn't want to stop and use the restroom, so she used the diapers to collect her urine."

Nowak and her family had used the diapers when Houston was evacuated in 2005 during Hurricane Rita, Lykkebak said.

According to investigative documents, police found two used diapers in a large garbage bag in the back seat of her car.

The diaper detail became fodder for late-night TV comics and talk radio and inspired an episode of "Law & Order."

"It jeopardizes our ability to have a fair trial when the accused is the butt of jokes," Lykkebak said.

Lykkebak waited until after he had taken a deposition from the police officer — the interview was Thursday — to dispute the statement about the diapers in the police report, a Lykkebak spokeswoman said.

Nowak, 44, was charged with attempted kidnapping, battery and burglary with assault in a confrontation at Orlando International Airport with Colleen Shipman, the girlfriend of former astronaut Bill Oefelein.

Oefelein told detectives he had a two-year relationship with Nowak but ended it after he started a relationship with Shipman.

Shipman told police that Nowak, wearing a wig and trench coat, doused Shipman's face with pepper spray and tried to get into her car at the airport.

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Nowak has pleaded not guilty, and her trial is scheduled for September. She was dismissed from the astronaut corps a month after her arrest. Oefelein was dismissed from the corps at the beginning of June.

Nowak remains a Navy captain, and Oefelein continues as a Navy commander.

Lykkebak filed a motion asking a judge to prevent statements that Nowak made to police from being entered into evidence. He also asked to have the transcript of the police interview sealed, contending the media would use it for entertainment value and taint potential jurors.

Circuit Judge Marc Lubet said he wanted Lykkebak to present more case law supporting his arguments before he would rule on the motion.

Florida Today and the Orlando Sentinel contributed to this report.

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