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He haunted Las Vegas like a vampire, gambling by night, sleeping by day — and taking Valium to keep the anxiety at bay.
This was the surreal existence Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock, 64, reportedly described in a court deposition taken four years before he took a cache of weapons and shot his way into infamy from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel.
“I do not do sun,” Paddock said in the 97-page court document, according to CNN.
Paddock was deposed on Oct. 29, 2013, as part of a civil lawsuit against the Cosmopolitan Hotel, which he sued after slipping and falling two years earlier while strolling from a hotel shop to a high-stakes area in the casino. He lost the case.
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In the deposition, Paddock gives no hint that one day he would turn a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip into a killing zone, although he did admit to having a concealed weapons license in Texas.
But the reclusive gambler lifted the veil a little on the life he led in the years before he killed 58 strangers and then himself on Oct. 1.
The revelations came as Paddock’s brother Bruce told NBC News he had been questioned twice by the FBI, including a four-and-a-half hour grilling by a profiler.
“They were just asking about our childhood, what schools we went to, who his friends were, all the stuff we did,” he said.
Bruce Paddock also speculated that financial difficulties may have driven his brother over the edge, although no evidence has surfaced thus far to buttress that claim.
“This guy is a wizard with books,” he said, recalling how his brother used to do the family’s tax returns and juice them so they would get back thousands of dollars in refunds.
Under oath, Paddock freely admitted that he would bet up to “a million dollars” a night and boasted he was the “biggest video poker player in the world.”
“How do I know? Because I know some of the video poker players that play big,” he testified, according to CNN. “Nobody played as much and as long as I did.”
“Each time I push the button, it will range from $100 to $1,350,” he said.
When a lawyer suggested that a million dollars was a lot of money to bet, Paddock was dismissive.
“No, it’s not,” he said.
Paddock said that in 2006 he “averaged 14 hours a day, 365 days a year” on the video poker machines.
“I’ll gamble all night,” he said. “I sleep during the day.”
In the course of the questioning, Paddock said he had no criminal records, no mental health issues and no history of addiction.
But Paddock admitted he was prescribed Valium “for anxiousness” by a Nevada doctor whom he claimed to keep “on retainer.” He said he had 10 to 15 of the pills left from the bottle of 60 he’d been prescribed.
Among the possible side-effects of Valium are irritability and restlessness.
Paddock, according to the Cosmopolitan’s lawyer, Marty Kravitz, was a “slovenly” and shambling figure whose favorite footwear was a pair of “crappy flip-flops.”
As a high-roller, Paddock often got complimentary rooms and he admitted taking a nip from a free bottle of sake on the night he took his tumble and allegedly hurt his hamstring. But he said he rarely drank when he gambled.
“At the stakes I play, you want to have all your wits about you, or as much wit as I have,” he said.