SHE STILL won't talk about it publicly.

Not in court.

Not to the media.

Alycia Lane is still that traumatized by what was done to her by former co-anchor Larry Mendte - who purported to be her mentor and friend while pursuing a sadistic smear campaign against her.

And who could blame her?

A day after Mendte was sentenced in federal court for hacking into her personal e-mails hundreds of times, Lane's lawyer and sources close to her said that the damage Mendte did to her is inestimable.

And ongoing.

Lane has been unable to get a job, despite the fact that she was a victim of a vicious career-assassination plot and was a successful anchor before she was deliberately destroyed.

There's been interest, but she fears it's of the prurient kind, people who just want to get a look at the home-wrecking bikini babe that Mendte's vicious leaks to the media made her out to be.

It doesn't help that the mischaracterization of Lane created by Mendte's strategic leaking and distorting of her e-mails gets repeated every time the case comes up in the press.

Lane still can't talk about what was done to her without breaking into tears.

That's why she decided not to make a statement at Monday's sentencing in federal court, even though she'd long planned to do so.

Lane was so overwrought while giving a private victim-impact statement that her lawyer, Paul Rosen, advised her not to speak in court.

Lane gave the statement in Rosen's office to the probation officer preparing the presentence report. Rosen wasn't present during the proceeding.

He saw her afterwards, though, and "she was emotionally drained and upset. I advised her that it was her choice, but it was unnecessary" to speak in court, Rosen said.

The impact statement is part of the confidential presentence report.

But much of the damage that Mendte caused Lane is spelled out in her civil suit against him.

Despite the anguish that Lane has endured - the sleepless nights, the weight loss, the weeping, the uncertainty about her future and what might have been - she didn't ask that Mendte be sent to jail.

"She spent a night in jail in New York, and she did not wish that for anyone, not even Larry Mendte for what he did to her," Rosen said.

He was referring to a controversial confrontation that Lane had had in New York City with a police officer; the charges against her were dismissed.

"Two, she did not feel that it was up to her to take Larry from his family.

"And she trusted in the judicial system, that it would do the right thing."

Lane is satisfied with Mendte's sentence of six months house arrest, three years of probation, community service and a fine, Rosen said.

She's more generous than I would be, I can tell you that.

And how self-serving of Mendte to turn to Lane in court Monday to apologize; only she could fully understand how insincere it was.

It was just more melodrama from this twisted creep, who's only sorry that he lost his career in the process of destroying hers.

After all, this is the man who comforted her while she was distraught over the leaked information - saw her burst into tears in the CBS 3 newsroom, witnessed her suffering and stress - then continued his deliberate campaign to ruin her.

This is the man who said that he had read her e-mails out of career insecurity - and continued hacking into her private account even after she'd been fired from her job as his co-anchor and was no longer a threat.

This is the man who had the gall to hold a news conference after his indictment suggesting that he and Lane had had an illicit romantic relationship, attempting to inflict even more damage on her.

As if that were possible.

She knew that the apology was phony.

But it still felt good.

It validated all that she'd endured.

Lane's anxiety in the days preceding Monday's sentencing was soothed by the presence of her close-knit family.

Her parents, her sister and her two brothers came with their spouses to support her through the ordeal. They surrounded her in court, while she struggled to maintain her composure.

Lane cooked and fussed for the days preceding the sentencing, and served a pre-Thanksgiving turkey dinner for them Monday night, when it was over.

They've all gone home now.

And Lane is left to wonder - what's next? *

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