UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — On April 13th, Kobe Bean Bryant was due to wear the Lakers logo T-shirt for the last time. His 20th last season in the NBA turned into a long farewell ceremony worthy of kings and filled with various kinds of celebrations, filming in advertising and unanimous praise from the basketball stars of the past and present. Bryant’s professional resume is undoubtedly impeccable. He participated in matches of all NBA stars 18 times, 12 times was a member of the national team of all NBA defense stars, five times became the NBA champion. He will go down in history as second in the ranking of the best attacking midfielders in NBA history – after Michael Jordan – and as one of the top 20 players who have ever stepped on the basketball court, wrote the Daily Beast.
However, if you consider the entire period of Bryant’s stay in the spotlight of the public, his personal life and professional achievements, there will forever be one gigantic question mark, one alarming episode, which causes confusion even for the most ardent fans of Black Mamba (pseudonym Bryant – approx.), this is a rape charge.
In the annals of pop culture, this rape case launched against Bryant was reduced to just one gesture that led to it, namely, the $ 4 million diamond carat ring that Bryant gave his wife Vanessa as an apology.
However, what really happened on the night of June 30, 2003 at the Lodge & Spa at Cordillera (Colorado) is likely to remain a mystery forever.
Despite the fact that Bryant was charged with rape and illegal detention – for which he could face a life sentence – and with tears in his eyes he confessed to extramarital affairs with his 19-year-old prosecutor, the Bryant case did not came to court.
On September 1, 2004, a week before the opening speeches were to be heard in court, the case was closed because the prosecutor, whom the press and fans of Bryant had been pouring mud on for months, told the court that she would not testify against the basketball player.
She filed a separate civil lawsuit against Bryant and agreed to drop the rape charge against him if the athlete apologized, the text of which was read out in court by Bryant’s lawyer: “First, I would like to apologize directly to the girl who was involved in this a story. I want to apologize to her for her behavior that night and for the consequences from which she suffered all last year.
Although this year turned out to be incredibly difficult for me personally, I can’t even imagine what kind of pain she had to endure. I also want to apologize to her parents and members of her family, my family, friends and fans, as well as the people of Eagle County, Colorado. I also want to emphasize that I have no questions regarding the motives of this girl. She received no money from me.
Although I am sincerely convinced that the contact between us occurred by mutual agreement, I now admit that she did not and does not consider this incident in the same way as I do. For several months I studied the documents, listened to her lawyer and the testimony she gave personally, and now I understand that, from her point of view, she did not give consent to that contact.
Today, in making this statement, I am fully aware that one part of this business is being completed today, and the other is only just beginning. I understand that a civil lawsuit against me will be considered. “This part of the case will be decided between the parties to the incident and only them, and will no longer cause financial or emotional harm to residents of Colorado.”
The civil lawsuit against Bryant was finally settled in March 2005, but the conditions on which the parties agreed to settle this case remained a mystery (at that time, jurors considering civil lawsuits could award compensation in the amount of $ 2.5 million). It is worth noting that the family of the girl who accused him of rape was wealthy.
The Daily Beast reviewed the case file and legal documents regarding the rape, including the testimony of the prosecutor, who was then 19 years old, and Bryant, who was 24 years old, to try to find out what exactly happened that night.
“Last night I was at work and I was raped,” begins the prosecutor’s version of the events that occurred on June 30, 2003, according to the transcript of the testimony she gave the next day at the Eagle County Sheriff’s office in Colorado.
The prosecutor, a white girl, reported that she was late on June 30 and arrived at work at the Lodge & Spa at Cordillera in Edwards, Colorado at about 2 p.m. According to her, at about 4 o’clock she was called by a travel agent to confirm the reservation for Javier Rodriguez, and he let slip that “in fact it was a reservation for Mr. Bryant. He said it was very important that we prepare the rooms for him and his two friends. That is, there were three rooms in total.”
Other numbers were reserved for the names “Joe Carlson” and “Mike Ortiz” – they were from Bryant’s entourage. The prosecutor, who worked at the front desk, was supposed to leave work at 7 pm, but, as she told the police, she decided to stay because she “really wanted to see Kobe Bryant” and she needed to “work the extra hours” that she lost Being late for work (her working day then began at 11 am).
“They arrived at 9:45 a.m. or 10 a.m. I met Mr. Ortiz, met Mr. Bryant, and they asked me to take him to the room, ”she told the police. According to her, when they approached the room, Brian asked her: “Mr. Bryant asked me – quietly – could I return to him after 15 minutes and give him a tour of the hotel. I said that I would come.”
According to the prosecutor, she returned to her room at 10:30, and then showed Bryant a spa, gym, pool and outdoor jacuzzi. She claimed that Bob Pietrack, a hotel porter and her school friend, saw her showing the hotel to Bryant. Then they returned to Bryant’s room, where they sat on the sofa and began to talk.
“We talked, and Bryant asked me to open a hot tub for him,” she told the police. “I told him that my shift was over, and that I should go home already.” He continued to insist and persuade me to return to him after 15 minutes, and I promised him to return only in order to get out of there as soon as possible — I was going to leave and not to return again. I already got up to leave, but he got up too and asked me to hug him. I hugged him, and he began to kiss me. I let myself kiss. He continued to kiss me, and then he took off his pants. Then I tried to push him away and leave. It was at that moment that he began to choke me.”
When the police asked her what she was thinking at that moment, she replied: “I thought that he was starting to use physical force and that I wanted to get out of my room.” According to her, he kissed her for about five minutes, but this happened by mutual agreement. “Then he began, as it were, to touch me,” she continued. – He began to touch me, squeeze my ass, chest. Trying to lift my skirt. He continued to take off his pants. He tried to grab my hand and make me touch him.”
“I told him I needed to leave,” she added. “But he did not answer.” Even if he heard me, he showed no sign and did not let me know what he had heard.”
At that moment, as the police accuser said, Bryant began to use force: “When he took off his trousers, I began to resist, trying to take his hands off me, and then he began to choke me. He didn’t choke me so hard that I began to choke, he choked me just to scare me.”
According to her, then Bryant began to “touch and rub” her vagina through his underpants. It lasted “two or three minutes, and all this time I tried to break free. Then, as she told the police, he grabbed her neck with both hands. According to her, at that moment she did not say anything to him, but he knew that she wanted to leave, “because I continued to try to break free and get to the door.”
The girl said that Bryant stood between her and the door. “I took a step to the side, and he took a step to the same side. And at that moment he grabbed my neck, ”she said. – He touched me, I tried to run away, tried to break out, and then he grabbed me by the neck. At that moment I just looked at him – I did not know what to do, what to say.”
“Then, holding my throat, he forced me to lie on the sofa,” he continued. “With one hand he held me by the throat, and with the other he pushed me to two chairs, turned me over and lifted my skirt.” The girl told the police that “at that moment I was very scared, and I said“ no ”several times.” She added that she said “no” when he lifted his skirt, and again “no” when he took off her underwear.
When the police asked her why she decided that he heard her, she replied: “Because every time I said no, he squeezed me harder.”
According to the accuser, holding her neck with one hand, Bryant “brought his face closer to me and began to ask questions.”
Question: “You won’t tell anyone, right?”
“I said no. He did not hear me and ordered me to answer louder. He wanted me to turn to him and say this, looking at him, ”she told the police. According to her, Bryant asked this question three or four times, and each time her answer was “no”, because “I was afraid that if I say yes, if I tell someone, he will use even more brute force”.
“Then,” she continued, “he lifted the skirt, took off my underwear and entered me. When he came into me, he brought his face closer to mine and asked me if I liked it when the guy cums on my face and answered no. He told me: “What did you say?” He gripped his hand on my throat more strongly, but I said no again. He replied that he would do it anyway. Then I decided to act more firmly and tried to remove his hand from my neck. He was still behind me and still choking me – of course, I didn’t try to break out with all my strength, but I still tried to do it.”
The girl told the police that the intercourse lasted about “five minutes”, and all this time she cried. According to her, she began to cry, “when he entered me.” During intercourse, Bryant said: “I love Vail (a town and ski resort in Eagle County, Colorado – approx. Ed.).”
“When I began to behave more aggressively, I began to break out harder, he stopped,” she said. – I jumped up and turned to him, but he made me stay in the room until I calmed down a bit. He made me straighten my hair and wash my face.”
According to her, after that Bryant warned her: “It’s only between us, only between the two of us, and no one else will know about it, you won’t tell anyone. Just promise.”
The version of events presented by Bryant differs from the version of the prosecutor. Police interrogated him at about 11:30 pm the day after the alleged rape at the Lodge & Spa at Cordillera.
“She led me through the pool, showed me everything, we went up to my room, where she showed me the windows, which sometimes bears come up to, we chatted, and that’s all,” he told the police. Then he said three times that he had no sexual contact with this girl, and then, when he was informed that she accused him of rape, he said: “Can I somehow settle this case, in any way? If my wife finds out that someone has made such charges against me, she will be furious.”
When the police informed Bryant that the prosecutor had undergone a medical examination and had taken samples of seminal fluid and blood, the athlete admitted that they had sex. “I need to know this because I would have sexual contact with her,” he said. “But it certainly happened with her consent.”
According to Bryant, when she and the girl went up to his room, she showed him a tattoo on his back, and then kissed him, after which they began to kiss. When asked by the officers whether she said “no” and whether she resisted, Bryant replied: “Okay, I think, I think. (Pause.) I’m trying to remember our conversation.”
He admitted that he “held [the accuser] from the back” and that the sex lasted “about five minutes”.
Then the officers asked him the question: “You asked her if you could finish on her face?” Bryant replied: “Yes, but she didn’t want to. Then she said no. It was at that moment that she said no.”
Bryant said that before intercourse, she caressed his mouth for about “five seconds” and that everything happened with her consent.
At some point, when the police called the girl “attractive,” Bryant corrected them. “She was not so attractive,” he said. When asked about the moment of ejaculation, he replied: “I have not finished. I did everything myself when she left. ” When asked by police officers whether he had ever cheated on his wife, Bryant replied: “Yes, with one girl. And she can tell you that I did the same with her, also from the back, put my hands down (inaudibly).”
“Her name is Michelle,” he said, adding that they “often” have sex.
Then the police informed Bryant that the prosecutor had bruises on his neck, to which he replied: “Yes, that’s what I’m talking about, Michelle and I are doing this, we are doing the same.” When asked how often he has sex with Michelle, he replied: “Often. She will tell you the same thing.”
In an additional police report, Detective Winters described a rather strange conversation with Bryant, during which the athlete threw a T-shirt with the remains of seminal fluid into the face of the policeman. In the report, the name of the prosecutor was changed.
“During our conversation with Bryant, we asked him if he had finished later, since there was no ejaculation during intercourse. Bryant said it was, says Detective Winters report. – We asked where the ejaculation occurred. He replied that he had finished in a white T-shirt after [the girl] left. We asked him if he could show us this t-shirt. He agreed. I remember when Detective Loya followed Brian to his room, and I followed them. I didn’t see where Bryant got his shirt from. But Bryant claimed that the shirt he was holding was the shirt he ejaculated into. Then he threw this t-shirt at me. I asked Bryant not to throw her at me, because in this case I would pick her up and leave her in a safe place. I caught a T-shirt at about the neckline. Bryant said he “shot” not so high. He meant that the ejaculate did not hit so high.”
Another additional report in the Bryant case says that the athlete decided to mix Shaquille O’Neill’s name with this investigation – for unknown reasons.
According to this report, while the officers questioned Bryant about the circumstances of the alleged rape, he said: “I had to do as Shack does. Shaq pays them money and buys them cars, he has already spent a million dollars on it. The report says that Shaquille does this to keep the girls silent.
On July 12, Bryant made the first statement regarding this case for The Los Angeles Times, which said: “When everything becomes clear and everything is settled, you will understand. But you know me, I don’t need to say anything. You know that I would never do anything like that.” Four days after the prosecution became known, Bryant first appeared in public, following the red carpet at the ESPY Awards in Hollywood. On July 18, when he was formally charged with rape and unlawful detention, Bryant held a press conference during which he challenged the allegations.
“I did not force her to do anything against her will,” he said. “I am sitting here in front of you and angry with myself.” I became disgusted with myself because of this betrayal.”
At a preliminary hearing, Detective Winters reported that the prosecutor had a medical examination the day after the alleged rape at a clinic in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
“The nurse testified that there were several tissue tears in the victim’s vagina and that two of them were about a centimeter long,” Detective Winters said. – There were also many small tears of tissue about 2 millimeters in length. There were too many to count. The nurse reported that such tissue damage corresponds to genital trauma during penetration. Such injuries do not occur during sex with consent. ”
According to Detective Winters, the nurse informed him that she was most likely injured in the previous 24 hours and that the girl had “a slight bruise on the jaw line”. In addition, experts found traces of blood on Bryant’s T-shirt “in the belt area”. According to Winters, a DNA examination confirmed that it was the blood of the victim.
Meanwhile, Bryant’s defense tabled the prosecutor’s sexual past. The girl said that she had sex with her consent on June 27 or 28, and when the next day the experts checked her underwear, they found on it the remains of seminal fluid and hair follicles that did not belong to Bryant. It is worth noting that it was different underwear – not those underpants that were on the girl on the night of the alleged rape (that linen was also sent for examination), and the prosecutor said that she mistakenly put on dirty linen, going for a physical examination. Bryant’s defense insisted that the accuser could have been injured in the genitals as a result of sexual intercourse with “many partners” in a short period of time, although the detective said that, according to the nurse, the girl received them within the last 24 hours before the examination.
Bryant’s defense also focused on the girl’s words that she really wanted to meet with Bryant, and cast doubt on the mental state of the prosecutor. According to the case file, four months before the alleged rape, the girl was admitted to the hospital because the campus security service at the University of Northern Colorado concluded that she “posed a threat to herself.” One ex-girlfriend of the prosecutor, who lived with her before their quarrel, said that before this alleged rape, the girl twice tried to commit suicide by swallowing sleeping pills.
We may never know what happened in that hotel room between Kobe Bryant and his prosecutor. But we know that after this rape case, having lost advertising contracts with McDonald’s and Nutella, as well as with Nike, Bryant regained the status of the athlete receiving the highest advertising fees in July 2005, when Nike started using his photos for the first time after this trial.
Commenting on Nike’s decision to turn to Bryant again, Rodney Knox, a spokeswoman for the company, said in an interview with USA Today: “Nike agrees with most NBA observers that Kobe is one of the best NBA players.”
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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