FanDuel - WFBC

September 01, 2004

Innocent? Guilty? Off the hook, either way: Kobe Bryant will reamin a free man (as if there were much doubt). Prosecuters will ask the judge to dismiss the charges against Bryant. Next up for Kobe: an out of court settlement for the civil suit. So does Kobe's endorsment money come back in any way or is he S.O.L. for good on that front? Maybe a slow trickle back to where it once was? Maybe everyone forgets in a year and he's the next Ray Lewis? At least it's over (pretty much).

posted by pivo to basketball at 04:37 PM - 47 comments

Actually, he will REMAIN a free man. The other thing, so close to this trial, would be foolish :)

posted by pivo at 04:43 PM on September 01

Nationally known medical examiner Dr. Michael Baden was retained by prosecutors to bolster their argument that the alleged victim's injuries proved that Bryant raped her. However, Baden had disagreed, saying that the bruising and minor lacerations could have come from consensual sex. This is the guy from that Autopsy show on HBO. How do you retain someone that doesn't agree with you, don't you retain them AFTER they say what you want them to?

posted by usfbull at 05:27 PM on September 01

Get your tinfoil hats out, people, because now there's going to be claims a'plenty that Kobe's people paid off Baden to put a fork in this mess.

posted by billsaysthis at 06:53 PM on September 01

usfbull, Just read in another story (sorry, Yahoo! link) the prosecution apparently attempted to hide the fact they even talked to Baden, and his contrary opinion of the injuries, in discovery. That was the grounds the defense gave for the previous moton to dismiss the assault charge.

posted by pivo at 08:16 PM on September 01

When the free agency bidding war for Kobe Bryant was going on, I thought it was strange that so many teams were willing to break the bank for a guy who was staring at a long prison term. It seemed like the NBA owners knew something the public didn't about the likelihood of conviction. Now that the case has fallen apart and Kobe's making such a big public apology, in spite of what it would mean in a civil suit, I'm wondering if the woman has been talking about a monetary settlement a lot longer than the media has reported. The other alternative is that Kobe's people and the NBA were supremely confident that they could tear the case apart in court or drive the defendant to quit pursuing it. Regardless, I think Bryant will never be the advertising icon that he was, and I don't see him replacing the squeaky-clean image he was peddling with a bad-boy pose. But who knows? Ray Lewis continues to get accolades from the sports media in spite of helping to cover up a murder and obstructing justice (or worse).

posted by rcade at 08:45 PM on September 01

I don't see him replacing the squeaky-clean image he was peddling with a bad-boy pose. But who knows? Ironic thing there is just before the rape allegations broke, the talk radio banter on Kobe was how his squeaky-clean rep was hurting him with the endorsement deals.

posted by pivo at 10:20 PM on September 01

Meanwhile Colorado is left to foot the bill for this? She, the not victim, (court of law says so), is going to gain financially from this while residents of Eagle specifically and the state of Colorado generally pay the bill for what now looks like a waste of the courts' time. At this point it will look like justice to me when she is held accountable for the expense.

posted by geekyguy at 10:38 PM on September 01

geekyguy, you can't be serious. Just because Kobe isn't going to be prosecuted doesn't mean he is innocent or that the woman is lying.

posted by dusted at 10:56 PM on September 01

The standard is innocent until proven guilty for the defendant, geekyguy. That doesn't mean this woman wasn't the victim of a crime.

posted by rcade at 11:38 PM on September 01

He's Ray Lewis. A Dropped case is the best thing he could have hoped for... But he may never get Jiffy back on board again. Jiffy's for families.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:26 AM on September 02

Question for geekyguy: If this woman's not a victim, explain what this comment by Kobe Bryant means: "Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did." My guess: I was certain you wanted anal sex because of the way it winked at me.

posted by rcade at 01:09 AM on September 02

The statement from Kobe is a little odd. After reading it, my conclusion is that they have already reached a financial settlement. Why else would he admit even a shred of guilt at this stage? "Although this year has been incredibly difficult for me personally, I can only imagine the pain she has had to endure." ...at the hands of my attorneys, fans, and enablers in the media.

posted by pitchblende at 01:29 AM on September 02

Good for Kobe, this nonsense was obviously a bad rap. Hope you learned your lesson kid, keep your dick in your pants from now on.

posted by kjh at 02:48 AM on September 02

"The statement, Bryant's attorneys Pamela Mackey and Hal Haddon told ESPN's Jim Gray, was a condition of the woman withdrawing her testimony. "Kobe was facing life in prison for a crime he did not commit," they told Gray. "The accuser insisted on that statement as the price for his freedom. The statement doesn't change the facts: Kobe is innocent and now he is free."" - They were the magic words required to make it go away. It seems apparent that there are many victims. Our young Desk Girl. Kobe. The Colorado Taxpayers. "Prosecutors spent at least $200,000 preparing for what was expected to be one of the most closely watched trials in the nation, and one that had gripped this mountain town and much of Colorado for 14 months. Yet the case would have ultimately rested on the testimony of a young woman the defense suggested was a promiscuous, attention-seeking liar." - Would the District Attorney have pushed as hard on the same case not involving a celebrity/athlete? It would seem the same we asked early on were the ultimate demise; an inconsistent witness that would not stand up to the scrutiny of a public defender much less a spare-no-expenses legal team.

posted by geekyguy at 04:24 AM on September 02

that DA, lead prosecutor, or whomever is responsible for this botched prosecution should get shitcanned.

posted by garfield at 07:49 AM on September 02

I'm no fan of Kobe Bryant (other than his superior bball skills), but I still can't believe that the media has subjected everyone to 14 months of this "rape" case. A year ago in this same forum I deplored the media coverage of this case, saying that the case had no substance. It seemed obvious, to me anyway, that this was a case where a rich celebrity met up with a sex partner who, well, acted differently. There are bad people out there, predators: rapists, pedophiles, psychotics. This is not one of those situations. Celebrities have to put up with a lot, but there are privacy boundaries. Thank God it's over. Now I can focus on the Yankees, Cardinals, and BoSox, on the NE Pats and Joe Gibbs, and on Shaq in Miami and T-Mac with Y-Ming, without that ridiculous Kobe Bryant case crap constantly being in the sporting news.

posted by cg1001a at 09:16 AM on September 02

Let me start out by saying that I was not present in the hotel room with Kobe Bryant's victim/partner. Therefore, I am not going to make any statements using phrases such as...let's take a representative sample..."the not victim", "this nonsense was obviously a bad rap", and "this was a case where a rich celebrity met up with a sex partner who, well, acted differently." So my question is: were you all in the room? The point being, of course, that dropping the case doesn't mean the plaintiff was lying all along and suddenly (lightbulb! after fourteen months!) came to the realization that she'd be caught out.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:42 AM on September 02

What pisses me off is this apology. Even if it was required by the victim. After her repuatation is destroyed, it's "accidentally" leaked that she had drug and mental problems and that she had sex with lots of other men and her name AND address, and now Kobe acts like he's just so SORRY this all happened. He's just so SAD for her that he life is ruined and he gets to continue making millions and keep his trophy wife. It's easy to be the good guy when your ass just got saved. I don't know what happened in the room, of course. But I do know that how many men a women sleeps with and whether or not she's taken drugs or seen a shrink has NOTHING to do with her being raped or not. And destroying her in public, "accidentally" or not, is unacceptable. I hope his defense laywer as well as Kobe has a hard time sleeping at night. (I won't hold my breath on that on.) No wonder more women don't come forward when raped. Would you if your life was destroyed, it was implied you are a mentally unbalanced, drug addled slut, your sex life made public, your health records made public, and you name and address splashed across the internet? I sure wouldn't. He's a fricking sleezeball, if he did it or not.

posted by aacheson at 10:50 AM on September 02

And I will never buy anything that sponsors that bastard, ever again. (Although I realize that I'm not exactly the demographic they care about.)

posted by aacheson at 10:51 AM on September 02

aacheson, you took the words right out of my spleen.

posted by chicobangs at 11:09 AM on September 02

Kobe Bryant's one and only endorsement down the road? Hopefully, the tubs bearing his likeness will also include a little sheet explaining that when the woman says, "No thank you," the sex doesn't keep on going.

posted by wfrazerjr at 11:23 AM on September 02

and now Kobe acts like he's just so SORRY this all happened. He's just so SAD for her that he life is ruined and he gets to continue making millions and keep his trophy wife. Don't act like Kobe Bryant is coming out of this with these millions of dollars to wipe his tears with. He's ruined in the court of public opinion... for a supposed act never even argued in a court of law. But that will never win here given the history of opinions with previous events involving athletes and the law.

posted by YukonGold at 11:26 AM on September 02

He's a fricking sleezeball, if he did it or not. Wow. If you can't see the problem with that statement... Imagine if it was a friend of yours that was arrested for rape, and then the charges were dropped after the DA couldn't prove a case against him. If he insisted it was consensual sex, would you immediately dismiss him as a "fricking sleazeball"? If I recall, weren't most of the "revelations" about the woman made through accidental postings by the DA or the judge/court itself? I don't think the leaks were coming from the defence side of the case. That said, he IS a sleazeball for cheating on his wife with some young thing he met at a hotel. The fact that the DA couldn't prove the case against him (or even collect enough evidence to get it to court) suggests that there is more to this story than what we already know.

posted by grum@work at 11:47 AM on September 02

He's a fricking sleezeball, if he did it or not. Wow. If you can't see the problem with that statement... ... That said, he IS a sleazeball... grum, even though you contradicted yourself there, you do have a point. The court of public opinion is not kind. But here's two things that come to mind: One, even if the worst case is what happened in that hotel room, it's not as bad as the worst case scenarios in, say, the O.J. and Michael Jackson scenarios. And both OJ and Jacko still have many, many fans worldwide who are willing to overlook all the legal whatnot (not to mention the possibility that the allegations my have been true). The court of public opinion is, I'm sure, very divided on this one, and now they always will be. (I'd make a guess about that divide being largely among racial or economic lines, but I'm sure we'll see a poll about that shortly.) And two, it's obvious that Kobe needs none of my attention, money, admiration or positive energy. He's never lost at anything in his life, and he apparently isn't starting now. So me (and aacheson) telling him to go fuck himself and his sponsors with a brick isn't ever going to reach his entitled little ears.

posted by chicobangs at 12:25 PM on September 02

Grum@work, I say he's still a sleezeball because he let his defense lawyer argue to allow her past sexual history as relevant. Because there were leaks from the defense that are inexcusable. Because he screws women outside his marriage. Because he now apologizes now that he's won. (how big of him.) Because he had sex with a woman and was too much of an arrogant boor to realize that DUH! she wasn't enjoying it!! Imagine having sex with a woman and not realizing she wasn't enjoying it so much that she construed it as rape. What a disgusting pig. That's why I feel that way. That's why he's "ruined in the court of public opinion." However, unfortuantely a great many people out there will still idolize him, even though he's a sleezeball for the reasons I discussed above.

posted by aacheson at 12:37 PM on September 02

I'd argue that her life is ruined a hellov a lot more than his is. She's now seen as a psycho, drug addicated slut out for his money. Plus she's got the mental baggage that she thinks she was raped. He's a still a rich ball player who happens to sleep around outside his marriage, keeps his wife and his contract to play ball, and will probably have to pay her some $$ out of his millions. Poor guy.

posted by aacheson at 12:40 PM on September 02

Wow, so much for innocent until proven guilty. Kobe's team may have done some less than ettical things but, as grum pointed out, most of the leaks came from other sources. And tell me how Kobe had anything to do with her actions (drug taking, having sex with numerous partners) before the night they met up. Most importantly, tell me how Kobe is to blame for her coming up to his room? Neither side--AFAIK and I haven't followed the case as much as some others--has explained why she went up to his room in the first place if not to get it on with him. Sure extramarital affairs are not good for either person, generally, though I know of some instances where that is not true, but I have yet to see any actual proof that Kobe raped this women.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:07 PM on September 02

Alleged victim. Nothing was proven in court. Kobe's actual adjudicated crime(s) are less than those of Chris Webber. Less than those of Charles Barkley. Less than an of those listed at The Smoking Gun - Kobe hasn't even gotten a DUI. The moral crime he is guilty of is between him and his wife. If you want to point out that it is a crime then charge him, get your conviction if that will make you feel better to sit morally higher than Kobe Bryant. Whatever. Alleged Victim word, grum@work

posted by geekyguy at 01:10 PM on September 02

Personally, I have no concrete idea if he is innocent or guilty of the charges, though I would guess I skew towards consensual sex with twists and perhaps some regret in hindsight. To me it is equally as plausible that he forced himself on her as is the case that she is a money grubbing liar. Calling out Kobe for not speaking out against his defense team's tactics is a bit silly. They are being paid well to do whatever it takes to get their client off. If most anyone were in that situation, myself for sure, I wouldn't really care about the alleged victim in either case. If I did it, the victim's well being was never a concern of mine before, why start. If I didn't do it, then the victim is a liar and has tainted my name and ruined my life, so again concern for the victim would be hard to drum up. Now none of us will ever know for sure. Defense team did it's job, right or wrong. If you really want to be angry, direct it at the prosecution and police for screwing this thing up from the word go. As mentioned, they did more to undermine this trial and harm their client with procedural screw-ups and leaks and the like than the defense team could have hoped to do. All we do know is he cheated on his wife, but the multi-million dollar rock was the extent of her dismay over that, so I really don't feel too bad for her. To answer my own question, I think the endorsements will depend on a combination of how he does in LA without Shaq and some Ray Lewis case style memory on the part of the public.

posted by pivo at 01:17 PM on September 02

Fine, alleged victim. My mistake. As I said before, I think he's a scumbag because: 1. He let his defense lawyer argue to allow her past sexual history as relevant. It's not and never should be in a rape case. 2. Because he had sex with a woman and was too much of an arrogant boor to realize that she wasn't enjoying it so much that she thought she was being raped. A fact that he acknowledges. 3. He let his team paint her as a psycho, drug addicated slut out for his money. No, Kobe isn't responsible for getting it on with her or her coming up to his room (and she admitted that she went up there to make out with him.) Or for her actions before they met. He's responsible for letting his defense team slander her, for being such a pig that he didn't care if she was wanting sex or not, and for ruining her life-however indirectly. I think that this is a difference between the way men view it and the way women do. My main thing is that he acknowledges that he saw it as consensual and she didn't. That a rather big gap in views. What does that say about him and the way he views the women he sleeps around with?

posted by aacheson at 01:20 PM on September 02

Pivo, very good points. Esp. about the defense team doing their job. Which they did, very well. Also I agree that "Personally, I have no concrete idea if he is innocent or guilty of the charges, though I would guess I skew towards consensual sex with twists and perhaps some regret in hindsight " except I would add that Kobe has a great disregard for the woman and what was going on with her while they were having sex. That's fairly evident. And yes, I am very upset about the judge and clerks and everyone and their brother who leaked things, and let her name slip and for letting info about her sex life and mental health to get out in public. They should get most of the blame. What a bunch of idiots. But the point of the thread was what will happen to him now re; endorsements and the court of public opinon. And I'm stating my opinion of him. Not of his defense team. Not of the prosecution. Not of her. Of him. And what he did. And how he thinks and how he acted.

posted by aacheson at 01:39 PM on September 02

Well Aacheson I can certainly appreciate your POV - Kobe does have a certain odor of entitlement to him, be that for the ball or, perhaps, for women as well. However, his statement seems to smack of just the legal-speak version of what rcade said. I agree that it is completely irrelevant to the case of rape the past sexual history of the alleged victim, should it not be so in all party's cases? In the sense that - you criticize Kobe for being a boor, using this particular case as a total assesment for his sexual behaviour. Is that not the same thing that Kobe's defense was doing to the alleged victim? Does that not paint Kobe with a similar brush? And Kobe didn't let his team argue about her past sexual history. The courts did. Kobe was doing what anyone would if they found themselves defending themselves and was operating within the confines of the court. I can't blame him for that. Of course, in modern celebrity trials, even a conviction has little to do with the actual truth of the matter.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:53 PM on September 02

I wish I had the crystal ball every one has that allows them to "obviously" know nothing happened in that room. Please never show up for jury duty. I have no idea what went on in the room, if she tried to say no and he just didn't listen, or if it got out of hand and she regretted it later. The problem is there just isn't enough proof that he raped her. That doesn't mean he didn't. Baden didn't say the injuries didn't come from rape, he said it could have come from consensual sex. The bottom line is that after watching this woman's sexual/drug/mental history torn apart by kobe's team, having to deal with death threats from lunatics, and one of her counselors being investigated by the FBI for trying to sell her counseling file, what women in her right mind would come forward without having video/audio proof she was raped? Is it any wonder date rape is so common? Hell, we have someone here who thinks now she should be sued for not being able to deal with all that crap. Just pitiful. Message to the ladies, if you come up to an athlete's room be prepared to take what's coming, because you have no one else to blame but yourself for "coming up to his room", and hell, we love our athletes! Those poor athletes, having to deal with money hungry 19 year old desk clerks. Now he can buy her off just like he bought his wife off a with that giant ring. I love this game!

posted by justgary at 02:15 PM on September 02

He's a fricking sleezeball, if he did it or not. Wow. If you can't see the problem with that statement... ... That said, he IS a sleazeball... grum, even though you contradicted yourself there, you do have a point. Well, what I should have said is that your declaration of him being a sleazeball seemed to be with regard to what happened "legally" in that hotel room. My declaration of his sleaziness is in regard to what happened "morally" in that hotel room (adultery). Nevertheless, it does seem I contradicted myself.

posted by grum@work at 02:27 PM on September 02

justgary, today, you are my hero. and to pose a dangerous question; as in almost every rape case, at least those not recorded in some way, evidence/proof/fact/pick your poision usually is slim to none. Now if a lack of evidence is common in rape cases, and prior behavioral history is irrelevant, which results in very few victims coming forward, where are we to look for admissible evidence in the court of law? Is personal history of the accused and the accuser both irrelevant? I don't know. It's a shit situation all-around. And it always comes down to he said/she said. and I've two words for those who think Kobe is the victim here: anal tearage. No one consents to that.

posted by garfield at 02:35 PM on September 02

Message to the ladies, if you come up to an athlete's room be prepared to take what's coming, because you have no one else to blame but yourself for "coming up to his room", and hell, we love our athletes! The converse to that extremist view must also hold, would it not?. So just for balance: Message to athletes, if you are having a lady up to the room, get a legal team and get your checkbook out, because no matter what does or doesn't happen you will need legal advice and a large out of court settlement. at the very least. They are all money grubbers out to get you.

posted by pivo at 02:59 PM on September 02

Isn't innocence the absence of guilt? I hope to hell it is if I ever find myself or someone close to me in court. Keep in mind it was dismissed with prejudice. Guilty until proven innocent. Seriously, check your morals and look at the facts however deplorable you find the behavior.

posted by geekyguy at 03:24 PM on September 02

Innocence is not the absent of guilt. Guilt is assigned. Innocence is assumed. Because the chance to assign guilt in this case was forfeited does not infer innocence.

posted by garfield at 04:17 PM on September 02

Well put, garfield. I misspoke. It is interesting to note how many people still have an assumed guilt in this case despite it not going to trial.

posted by geekyguy at 04:36 PM on September 02

Dahlia Lithwick is ever so slightly pissed off over at Slate.

posted by Skot at 05:12 PM on September 02

pivo: actually, that's very good advice. Especially if you're a married man who's banking very heavily on your squeaky-clean public image, and holding yourself up as a moral pillar to society in general and your advertisers in particular.

posted by chicobangs at 05:13 PM on September 02

Wow Skot, that was GREAT. She nailed it on the HEAD. Thanks!

posted by aacheson at 05:45 PM on September 02

Interesting read, Skot, but--aacheson--she didn't come close to nailing anything. The real reason this prosecution fell apart is that the legal system is set up to operate on precise literals while human behavior is shades of grey. Our legal system, and many people, expect perfection of the participants while humans are fallible beings. Lithwick did have several correct characterizations but missed the big picture. We have met the enemy, Pogo said long ago, and he is us.

posted by billsaysthis at 06:34 PM on September 02

Well, billsaysthis, I disagree. I think she nailed what was wrong with this trial on the head. She got them all. The arrogant ball player, the court system that allows the destroying of people, hyper-agressive, media hungry, well paid laywers, incompetent judges and clerks, rabid media, and a woman of dubious morals who may or may not be lying, but is destroyed nevertheless. Whom do we blame?

posted by aacheson at 01:08 PM on September 03

Whom do we blame? I already answered that: ourselves. Collectively we've set ourselves on a course to spin down the drain and this is just another mile marker on the trip. Note that I'm not particularly disagreeing with any specific points Lithwick made but her overall conclusions, where she misses the big picture entirely.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:03 PM on September 03

The converse to that extremist view must also hold, would it not?. So just for balance: Message to athletes, if you are having a lady up to the room, get a legal team and get your checkbook out, because no matter what does or doesn't happen you will need legal advice and a large out of court settlement. at the very least. They are all money grubbers out to get you. Well, gosh, I guess the simple way to avoid that would be to NOT FUCK WOMEN OTHER THAN YOUR WIFE. I would have been much more inclined to believe Kobe if he hadn't already been lying at the point he went up to the room. You know, the part in the wedding vows where you make a pledge not to put your penis in anyone else? Or doesn't that count anymore? You guys want to give Kobe a pass because he had enough money to assemble a better legal team than the state of Colorado, go right ahead. In my eyes, he's a lying prick who stood by and watched a young woman that he thought enough of to have sex with get destroyed by people on his payroll. Fuck Kobe.

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:01 PM on September 04

It is interesting to note how many people still have an assumed guilt in this case despite it not going to trial. Are you reading the same thread that I am? I don't see anyone claiming they know for a fact he was guilty. I do see claims that nothing happened. The converse to that extremist view must also hold, would it not?. So just for balance: Message to athletes, if you are having a lady up to the room, get a legal team and get your checkbook out, because no matter what does or doesn't happen you will need legal advice and a large out of court settlement. at the very least. Sarcastic? Yes. Extreme? Nope. Look at rape cases where it's a he said/she said situation and see what the verdict is. I was in no way saying he was guilty, but rather showing amusement at the old cliches being trotted out ("he didn't force her to come up to his room") and the whole we love our athletes no matter what attitude. But you know, you are right. If you are an athlete worth millions of dollars and you are married and within 15 minutes of your first meeting with a 19 year old girl you bend her over a chair, you are taking a chance. Hell, you might lose a million or two in endorsements. Poor athletes.

posted by justgary at 02:14 PM on September 04

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