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Newz Forum: BASKETBALL: Bryant proclaimed innocence to police, but considered settlement

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posted on Sep, 17 2004 @ 07:08 PM
DENVER -- In his interview with police the night after he was accused of rape, NBA star Kobe Bryant insisted the sex was consensual, that he stopped when she said "no." He also wondered whether she would accept money to recant a claim that could damage his reputation.

A transcript of the interview was published Thursday by the Vail Daily, which said it obtained the printout and an audio recording from someone who mailed it anonymously from Denver. A source close to the prosecution told the Associated Press the transcript appeared accurate.

John Clune, an attorney for the accuser, declined comment on the transcript but criticized the leak, which follows several mistakes by courthouse staff that publicly revealed the woman's name.

"The continued evidence of the lack of integrity of the criminal case reaffirms our client's decision to not proceed in that court," Clune said.

Defense attorney Pamela Mackey did not return a call. At Mackey's request, a judge has issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting any public release of records or evidence from the case.

In a motion filed Thursday, defense attorneys said the dissemination of Bryant's statements violated the restraining order and asked the court to find and punish whomever leaked them to the media.

The defense also asked that the leaked materials be seized from news organizations. Christopher Beall, an attorney for the Vail Daily and various news organizations, including the Associated Press, immediately filed a motion advising the court that such a seizure would violate the First Amendment.

The interview was taped by Eagle County sheriff's investigator Dan Loya as he and fellow investigator Doug Winters talked to Bryant for about 75 minutes in the parking lot of the Lodge & Spa at Cordillera and in his room last summer.

The transcript contains profanity and some graphic descriptions from Bryant, who also admitted he had had frequent similar encounters with another woman named "Michelle," and who could testify that he also held her from behind. Bryant, who had been married for two years and had a 5-month-old daughter, said his wife did not know about the other woman.

He told the investigators he was concerned about damage to his marriage, his career and his image if word of the rape allegation got out.

"Is there any way I can settle this, whatever it is?" Bryant asked.

"Well, what do you mean by settle?" Winters replied.

"If my wife, if my wife found out that anybody made any type of allegations against me she would be infuriated," Bryant said.

At the time, his 19-year-old accuser had already had a hospital examination and had been interviewed by Winters. The felony sexual assault charge that could have landed the Los Angeles Lakers star in jail for life was dismissed at her request earlier this month because she no longer wanted to testify. Her civil lawsuit against Bryant is pending in federal court.

During the interview, Bryant at first denied having sex with the woman. But after investigators said they had physical evidence indicating the two had sex, he told them she initiated it.

"It was totally consensual," he said.


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