Sunday, August 17, 2003

Kobe Bryant's 911 call sought medical aid for wife, Vanessa Bryant 

Kobe Bryant's 911 call sought medical aid for wife:

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. - The 911 call Kobe Bryant made the day before he surrendered to police on a sexual assault charge was for medical assistance for his wife, city documents showed.

Police found no criminal conduct, and no report was taken, according to the documents released Wednesday by the city attorney's office.

The documents were supplied to several media outlets that had requested transcripts of the 911 call early on July 3. Those requests were denied.

Police said previously the Los Angeles Lakers star hung up the phone without talking, but a dispatcher called back and spoke to three people, including Bryant. Paramedics arrived 15 minutes later."

Kobe Bryant closes charitable foundation  

Kobe Bryant closes charitable foundation - The Washington Times: United Press International: "Thesmokinggun.com reports basketball star Kobe Bryant has shut down his charitable foundation.

Citing Internal Revenue Service records the Web site said the foundation employed a number of the Los Lakers' star's relatives, with Bryant as president.

The Kobe Bryant foundation once supported organizations emphasizing 'self-respect, morals, values and structure.'
The relatives were paid a combined $27,500 for their services.
On the foundations' 2002 tax return, however, those relatives were no longer listed and no disbursements cited. Bryant's April 2001 marriage caused an estrangement with his family, thesmokinggun.com said.

Bryant is accused of sexually assasulting a 19-year-old woman at a Colorado resort. He has denied the charges.

The Southern Illinoisan 

The Southern Illinoisan


[Sat Aug 16 2003]

Comparisons between Kobe Bryant's looming sexual assault trial and O.J. Simpson's murder trial are inevitable- and everywhere. Here's another:

Without any actual evidence or testimony having been introduced except in the media, public opinion about Bryant's guilt or innocence already is divided along racial lines similar to those surrounding the O.J. case.

So says a Gallup Poll that CNN and USA Today released a few weeks ago.

More than two-thirds of blacks said they thought the charge was false and about one-fourth believed it was true. A commanding 68 percent of blacks polled last week and in an identical poll in late July said they thought the charge was false. Only 24 percent believed it was true.

Whites, by comparison, were evenly split: 40 percent believed the charges were true and 41 percent believed they were false.

To the question, "Are you sympathetic to Bryant?," 63 percent of blacks said yes, compared to only 40 percent of whites. About half (49 percent) of whites and only 31 percent of blacks said no.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Racist Fliers in Colo. Related to Kobe Bryant Rape Case 

Yahoo! News - Racist Fliers in Colo. Related to Bryant

EAGLE, Colo. - Racist fliers were scattered Tuesday on lawns and windshields in the town where basketball star Kobe Bryant is set to go on trial on sexual assault charges.

Later in the day, a white supremacist group acknowledged leaving the fliers — headlined "Don't have sex with blacks" — and said they were in response to the Bryant case.

"We're concerned about areas such as Eagle County, where they have a relatively small number of blacks," Erich Gliebe, a spokesman for West Virginia-based National Alliance, said in a telephone interview.

He said other fliers would be distributed as the case continues.

Earlier, Eagle County sheriff's spokeswoman Kim Andree said deputies were investigating, but did not believe the fliers were related to the case against Bryant. She did not return a telephone message Tuesday night after Gliebe's comments.

The Los Angeles Lakers star, who is black, is charged with assaulting a white 19-year-old hotel worker, Kate Farber, at a resort in nearby Edwards in June. He has said the sex was consensual.

The fliers, beyond the headline, accused three black men of lying about carrying HIV (news - web sites) when they slept with white women.

Media asks for more cameras to cover Colorado vs. Kobe Bryant trial with States witness Kate Farber 

EAGLE, Colo. - The Denver Post and NBC have asked a judge to allow still and video cameras in the courthouse hallway during Kobe Bryant's preliminary hearing on Oct. 9.

The organizations noted that similar coverage was allowed during Bryant's initial appearance last week before Eagle County Judge Frederick Gannett. The motion was filed Friday and made public Monday.

The two companies and other media organizations already have asked Gannett to allow cameras in the courtroom during the hearing in the sexual assault case.

Gannett has given prosecutors and Bryant's attorneys until Aug. 22 to respond to that request.

Several television networks broadcast Wednesday's initial court appearance live. Media groups are renewing their requests for coverage as the case moves through the court system.

Bryant, an All-star guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, is accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old hotel worker in nearby Edwards. Bryant has said the sex was consensual. He is free on $25,000 bail.

Monday, August 11, 2003

Kobe Bryant: The Peoples' Choice - Despite Rape Trial, Kobe Staying in the Spotlight 

semissourian.com: Article:
Last week Kobe Bryant once again stood before thousands and proclaimed his innocence through cheers from his fans. His fans showed their support with signs and shouts of 'We love you.'

Millions, like the fans at the 2003 Teen Choice awards show, have taken Bryant's side without hearing any of the evidence against him.
But the media has swarmed to this like no other high-profile celebrity case in recent history. That attention to the Bryants has left Americans with little perspective on it.

So Kobe's fans look at what he's done on the basketball court, and housewives use what was his sparkling reputation to judge the case.
Bryant also has put perspective in the minds of the people himself. He's played the public relations game much like he plays basketball -- peerlessly. He has chosen the right times to speak and chosen the right times to remain silent and let his actions speak for him.

He's had to act. He's had to humiliate himself. He's even had to dip into his bankroll. Nevertheless, his point has been made.

Meanwhile, his accuser has sat idle and done neither. She has remained tucked safely away through everything, refused to speak and refused to be seen.
The strategy is meant to keep her away from the vicious criticisms (and I use the term lightly) that come from Kobe's extreme supporters. "

What if Kobe Bryant has been Falely Accused? 

FindLaw's Writ - Spilbor: What If Kobe Bryant Has Been Falsely Accused?: "Last Wednesday, August 6, in what amounted to a highly publicized yet rare spectacle, Kobe Bryant was arraigned on a felony sex assault charge. There was no familiar gold jersey, no basket, and no opposing team to speak of, but that didn't stop the crowd outside the Eagle County Courthouse from rooting wildly for Bryant.

Bryant arrived at the courthouse via private jet, stayed for eight minutes, and uttered but two words: 'No, Sir.' Bryant's beautiful young wife, Vanessa, and her equally stunning, four million dollar, get-out-of-the-doghouse diamond ring did not accompany him to the event. But his diminutive attorney, Pamela Mackey, and her partner, Hal Haddon, did - with Mackey doing all the talking.

Bryant's next scheduled court appearance, a preliminary hearing, has been set for October 9 - just two days after he will have played his first preseason game of the 2003/2004 basketball season.

Meanwhile, it's become clear that the prosecutors are going after Bryant with a vengeance. Eagle County District Attorney Mark Hurlbert asked for an additional $105,000 from the state budget to cover anticipated expenses in this matter. The budget Commissioner not only granted his wish, but went further, allotting him $150,000 dollars, nearly a third more than requested, so he would have a 'buffer.'

Bryant's case has raised a firestorm of issues, but one in particular is at center court: Has this good guy been falsely accused? Even at this early stage, the majority of those asked say yes. To many fans, this case just feels false.

If Bryant has been falsely accused, it won't be the first time that a false report has been filed in an 'acquaintance rape' case. In part, that's because the law fails to meaningf"

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Robbernecking has just begun: The Kobe Bryant Trial 

Kobe's trial: Rubbernecking has just begun:

"Mark Cuban, boy owner of the Dallas Mavericks, can be as big a buffoon as anybody in the room.

But when Cuban says people are going to pay attention to Kobe Bryant's return to basketball for the same reasons they slow down to look at a car wreck on the side of the road, he couldn't be more right, no matter how much NBA commissioner David Stern wants to believe he's got it wrong.
If he wasn't, then Mike Tyson wouldn't still be the biggest draw in boxing.

At this rate it's only a matter of time until we have a television channel devoted solely to covering Bryant's legal problems: All Kobe, all the time.
Oh, that's right, we already do.

It's called ESPN.

In the spirit of rubbernecking on the Expressway, the all-sports channel devoted the entire 60 minutes of SportsCenter to coverage of Bryant's first hearing in his Eagle, Colo., rape case, even though the whole thing lasted about six minutes, and the most riveting television was the defendant muttering, 'No, sir,' when the judge asked if he objected to waiving a preliminary ready of the charges.

The rest of the hour was filler, except for the hot legal debate over the color of Bryant's suit.
Which, when you get right down to it, wasn't any less enlightening than the 14 hours of pre-game and post-game football analysis ESPN feeds us every Sunday.

Seems Kobe had everything but common sense 

From GoMemphis.com

Kobe Bryant's moral crime with the serious legal ramifications attached has compelled me to study old notebooks and randomly quiz cops.

Unfortunately, I have experience covering sexual assault cases. I sat in a Seattle courtroom when then-Sonics forward Ruben Patterson pleaded guilty to third-degree attempted rape in 2001. He received 15 days in jail, fines and was required to register as a sex offender in Washington.

The off-court foibles of athletes can be maddening. However, the NBA is not full of wayward thugs as ABC's World News Tonight attempted to portray last week. Even when you take a collective look at the summer problems associated with NBA players, you're talking about barely 1 percent of a league that employs more than 400 players.

Sex crimes, drugs and violence aren't problems inherent to today's NBA.

Who's Kobe Bryant? Small Town Sheriff Never Heard of Him! 

EAGLE, Colo. - On the day he got a warrant to arrest Kobe Bryant, Sheriff Joseph Hoy had no idea how big a case he had. He didn't even know who Kobe Bryant was.

"When they told me that the case involved Kobe Bryant, I had a blank look on my face," Hoy said. "The name didn't mean anything to me."

One of his cops offered a hint - he dribbled an invisible basketball.

"My investigator said to me, 'Sheriff, basketball! NBA. Superstar. L.A. Lakers. That Kobe Bryant.' I looked at him and said, 'So?' This case had nothing to do with his celebrity status."

It has been a brutal month for Hoy since he persuaded a judge to sign the warrant July 3 - three days after Bryant was accused of raping a 19-year-old college student at the Lodge & Spa at Cordillera in nearby Edwards, where she worked as a concierge.

The sheriff sparked controversy when he skipped the usual step of consulting with the county district attorney first.

Under pressure

Accused of moving against his celebrity suspect too quickly, Hoy - on the job barely six months then - was pilloried in the press and called everything from a "dumb country hick" to an "incompetent jackass" in a slew of phone calls and E-mails that flooded his office.

"It was a surprise to me the amount of backlash we got right away," he said in an interview last week. "This past month has been a challenge, a real challenge."

Eagle County Judge Frederick Gannett has imposed a gag order barring all parties from discussing the case. This week, at the request of Bryant's lawyers, he appointed a special investigator to determine whether Hoy's office leaked details of the case to the media. Hoy denies it.

He also denied a rift with the district attorney, Mark Hurlbert, who didn't file a sexual-assault charge against Bryant until 15 days after Hoy got the arrest warrant.

"There is no feud. I do not work for the DA. He does not work for me. ... I know we did the right thing, no doubt about it in my mind," Hoy said.

Hurlbert's office agrees there is no feud between the two lawmen.

"He is in no way at odds with the sheriff," Hurlbert's spokeswoman Christa Flanagan said.

Hardly the image of the leathered, rough-and-tumble Western sheriff, the 56-year-old Hoy is more a "granola tree hugger," as one patron at the Bush Creek Saloon - the town's only bar - put it.

The lanky, gray-haired sheriff does not carry a gun, prefers shorts and sandals to his uniform and spends his lunch hour bicycling 22 miles through the mountains.

"I don't like to carry a weapon when I'm not in uniform, and I only wear my uniform to events," Hoy said.

He moved to the tiny upscale town of Eagle in the early 1980s, after a long stint in the Army as a helicopter pilot that included a tour in Vietnam.

For 14 years, he was the town's deputy, running the drug and alcohol awareness program for a dozen years.

Hoy was elected sheriff in November and took office Jan. 14. Six months later, he was at the center of the most notorious rape case in the country.

Saturday, August 09, 2003

Kobe Bryant News 

Looking for more news on the Kobe Bryant case? Click here for Kobe Bryant News Guilty or Innocent?

Who Is the Real Kobe Bryant? 

Who Is the Real Kobe?

When Kobe Bryant was arrested two weeks ago after a 19-year-old Colorado woman accused him of sexual assault, the reaction from friends and fans was almost universal: that’s just not like Kobe.

IT SEEMED IMPOSSIBLE that the 24-year-old Los Angeles Laker, best known for his signature slam dunks and megawatt smile, could commit such a crime. But on Friday, the Eagle County, Colo., district attorney, Mark Hurlbert, charged Bryant with felony sexual assault. Now, as the basketball star prepares to convince a jury that his only crime was “the mistake of adultery,” not rape, friends and fans are wondering this: who is Kobe Bryant?

Bryant’s life on the court has been an open book—from his leap straight out of high school to the NBA in 1996 to his public rivalry with team captain Shaquille O’Neal. Yet even those who should be familiar with Bryant’s every move admit the young man in the No. 8 jersey is something of an enigma. “I think a lot of people never really got to know Kobe at all,” says fellow Laker Rick Fox, adding that Bryant was hard to connect with, even from the very beginning. When he arrived in Los Angeles, Bryant would dress and undress in a separate part of the Laker locker room, and to this day he prefers to hole up in his hotel room after road games instead of partying with his teammates. “He kept to himself and we let him do that. I can only imagine what it was like for him then, being so isolated,” Fox says. Other teammates are less diplomatic: “The way he was so into his wife, you figured he would never stray from her. He was too goody-two-shoes to do that,” says one. “But obviously we didn’t know him as well as we thought.” So secretive was Bryant that he apparently didn’t even tell Laker management that he had gone to Colorado for knee surgery, the reason for his June 30 stay at the Lodge & Spa at Cordillera, where the alleged victim was working at the front desk.

Bryant’s tendency to isolate himself (coupled with his tendency to hog the ball) is strangely at odds with his public persona as the squeaky-clean Laker who speaks Italian and is faultlessly polite to everyone from reporters to hangers-on. But being a loner hasn’t endeared him to his teammates, and he’s had numerous run-ins with coach Phil Jackson, who’s criticized him in the press for a lack of maturity and an “all about me” attitude. The alienation doesn’t end at the locker-room door: after marrying an 18-year-old high-school student in April 2001, Bryant became temporarily estranged from his parents and two older sisters, who quickly moved back to their hometown of Philadelphia in a show of protest. “His family did not at all approve of the marriage,” says a friend of Bryant’s.
Eagle County District Attorney Mark Hurlbert has charged Bryant with felony sexual assault

Kobe’s friends say race was small part of the family’s problem: Kobe’s wife, Vanessa, is half Hispanic and half white. But mostly “they thought she had too much control over him and that he was way too wrapped up in her,” the friend says. “He didn’t even get a prenup. That’s how whipped he was. Other guys in the business tried to tell him, but that’s how Kobe is, stubborn to a fault and never listening to anybody about anything, even his family.” When Bryant went home to Philadelphia for last year’s All-Star Game and took home the MVP award, his family was nowhere in attendance, and the local crowd booed him for disloyalty to their city. “I guess I never realized how people felt about me,” he told NEWSWEEK at the time. “I never saw a problem with the way I handled things. I was trying to be me.”

Despite the criminal charge, the Lakers say they have no intention of keeping Bryant out of the lineup when training camp starts in September—assuming he fully recovers from the knee surgery. But it remains to be seen how much play he’ll get once his trial is underway after an Aug. 6 arraignment. For now, the team is hoping that the recent addition of Karl Malone and Gary Payton will somehow distract fans’ attention from Bryant’s troubles. The NBA has made no official comment, but sources say the league will just wait it out and let Bryant’s legal team do its job.

Meantime, Nike, McDonald’s and Sprite will have to decide for themselves whether they still want Bryant as a spokesman, given the kind of public speaking he’s doing these days. In other words, don’t expect to see Bryant’s mug on any commercials, except those advertising on the evening news. Sprite and McDonald’s have been silent on the matter, as has Nike, which just signed the star to a $40 million contract. “I can’t imagine that these companies will support him for long,” says Harold Jones, a sports agent in Utah. “They will probably quietly pull out without much fanfare. And it’s not about the charges, really. Even without them, he’s been cheating on his wife and that’s enough.”

On Friday, a tearful Bryant appeared at the Staples Center with his wife to declare his innocence. “I love my wife,” he said, while explaining that the sex he’d had in Colorado was consensual—and a mistake. “Together, we’re going to fight these false accusations.” Earlier that day Vanessa herself made a statement: “I know my husband made a mistake—the mistake of adultery. He and I will have to deal with that.” Byrant’s advisers have hinted at a possible defense that will include calling the young woman’s character into question. Until the trial, Bryant can only wait and hope that his legal team is as skillful in the courtroom as he’s been on the court.

Friday, August 08, 2003

Kobe Bryant Works On Public Image - Cleaning Up His Act and Appearing w/ Wife 

NBCSandiego.com - Sports - Bryant Works On Public Image: "While his attorneys are working to build his case, Kobe Bryant is working to build his public image.

The Lakers star went to Disneyland with his wife Vanessa Thursday night.
The two have recently been seen together around the Southland. Experts said this is part of the strategy to keep Bryant's image positive as he faces charges of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman in a Colorado hotel.

Due to a gag order from Eagle County, Colo., Judge Frederick Gannett, very little information is expected to be released regarding the case until the next court date. "

Bryant Case Judge Orders Probe of Leaks 

Bryant Case Judge Orders Probe of Leaks: "EAGLE, Colo. - The judge in Kobe Bryant's sexual assault case appointed a special investigator Wednesday to determine whether law enforcement officials are leaking information about the case to reporters.

Eagle County Judge Frederick Gannett's order, during the NBA star's initial court appearance, came in response to a request from Bryant's attorneys.
The lawyers said recent news reports quoted anonymous sources describing injuries to Bryant's accuser and the amount of time she spent in his hotel room. Reports also said Bryant gave inconsistent statements to law enforcement officials.

Bryant is charged with assaulting an employee at a resort in nearby Edwards on June 30. He has said the sex was consensual."

Pics of Kate Farber, Kobe Bryant's Accuser 

We usually do not do this but as many of you already know that Basketball Star Kobe Bryant has been charged with Sexual Assualt of a 19 year old girl, Katelyn Kristine Faber.

Katelyn Kristine Faber, the 19-year-old hotel worker who came to his room at the Lodge & Spa at Cordillera, a resort in Vail Valley, and later accused him of forcing her to have sex.

In a nationally televised news conference, Eagle County District Attorney Mark Hurlbert announced the charges, saying Bryant had 'caused sexual penetration or intrusion and ... caused submission of the victim through actual physical force.

Sounds like a real asshole for an NBA Star. Oh well.

Why We Want to Watch Kobe 

From CoversAccused of sexual assault, Bryant appeared in a Colorado court for the first time Wednesday afternoon in full view of the television cameras. The superstar basketball player will be back in court on October 9 for a preliminary hearing.

Wednesday's court appearance was a teaser for what promises to be a riveting television drama, with plenty of twists and turns.

While unpopular with his colleagues, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said what we all know is true: this is must-see, reality TV folks.

Let’s just hope the judge in Colorado doesn’t get all high and mighty and bars cameras from the courtroom.

BET.com - Who is the Prosecutor in the Kobe Bryant Alleged Sexual Assault Case? 

BET.com - Who is the Prosecutor in the Kobe Bryant Alleged Sexual Assault Case?

On July 18, the Eagle County district attorney announced that he would try Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant on charges that he had raped a 19-year-old hotel worker.

Following is some background on the prosecutor who will take on one of the world's most popular athletes in the case that has everyone talking.

Name: Mark Hurlbert

Age: 34 years old

Jurisdiction: Eagle County, a small mountain town about 100 miles west of Denver"

ABCNEWS.com : PR Is Key for Kobe Bryant 

ABCNEWS.com : PR Is Key for Kobe Bryant: "In a case like the one Kobe Bryant is facing, legal strategy and public relations strategy are essentially one and the same.
'There's really no separation in a case like this where there's a tremendous amount of public knowledge of an accused before the case starts, and a lot of public interest,' said Bill Moffitt, a defense attorney.

Bryant made his first court appearance Wednesday in Eagle, Colo., on a sexual assault charge. He is accused of raping a 19-year-old woman on June 30. Bryant, who is married and has a baby daughter, says he committed adultery with the woman but insists the sex was consensual.

Standing quietly between his attorneys, the NBA superstar only spoke once during the seven-minute hearing. When the judge asked if he objected to giving up his right to have the preliminary hearing held within 30 days, he answered, 'No sir.' The preliminary hearing was set for Oct. 9."

Kobe Bryant faces loss of TV deals 

Kobe Bryant faces loss of TV deals

The New York Post reported Monday that Nutella, the maker of a popular hazelnut sandwich spread, has stopped airing all of its Kobe Bryant commercials, even though his contract with the company doesn’t run out for another five months or so.

Nutella pays Bryant an estimated $500,000 a year to endorse the product which is extremely popular in Europe. But days after Bryant was arrested, Nutella removed a picture of the player from its Web site and stopped using promotional material as well.

Fox cuts part of Kobe Bryant's Teen Choice Awards speech 

Fox cuts part of Kobe Bryant's Teen Choice Awards speech: "Some statements are too hot even for Fox.
The network took out part of Kobe Bryant's acceptance speech at the Teen Choice Awards.
The awards show aired on Fox Wednesday, after being taped last week. Bryant was accepting the award for favorite male sports figure when he appeared to refer to the sexual assault charge against him.
He said, 'an injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere.'
A Fox spokesman says the network didn't feel the remark was suited to accepting an award for his sports exploits.
The rest of his remarks did make it into the broadcast. He said he's 'flying through some dark clouds' now, but he says with God's will, the sun will shine again. He also thanked his supporters."

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