Kobe Bryant – a familiar name and a familiar story: “Oh the NBA player for the Lakers!” Yet why is it that when discussing what he’s famous for and what he does, no one brings up his rape case? Kobe is indeed a legend and will be recognized as one in the near future and beyond, but let’s take a look at something not-so-legendary.
On June 30, 2003, Kobe Bryant had gone to the Cordillera Lodge and Spa in Edwards, Colorado. Bryant was in town for a knee operation after the Los Angeles Lakers failed to win a fourth championship in a row. Bryant may have been stressed out over the Lakers’ season, but something – or a someone – allowed the stress to reduce.
A 19 year old concierge at the hotel showed Bryant and his security team the way to their rooms. Bryant (who was at the time, a new father) talked to the blonde concierge and asked for her to return to his room later to give him a private tour of the hotel. After the tour, full flirty remarks from Bryant, he invited her into his hotel room.
In a mere five minutes, the blonde concierge exited the room disoriented and overcome with bloody underwear. It seemed to go along Bryant’s shirt.
The woman resorted to telling a co-worker about the incident after he made sure to get her home safely. The next day, the woman told her mother about it and reported it to the police.
The real question is not whether he and the woman interacted sexually, but rather, was it consensual? Bryant admitted to cheating on his wife, Vanessa, but the woman he claimed to have cheated on his wife with stated she did not consent to sex.
In September of 2004, Kobe Bryant released an official apology after the sexual assault charges against him were dropped. Bryant formally apologizes to the woman and her family for the pain he had put her through. Eventually this statement was made:
“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. After months of reviewing discovery,
listening to her attorney, and even her testimony in person, I now
understand how she feels that she did not consent to this
If she had believed it to be rape, and he didn’t at that time, but understands now that she thought was rape – isn’t that still rape?
Tonight (Wednesday April 13, 2016) is Bryant’s final NBA game. Tickets are selling for a quarter of $100,000;he’s being celebrated and honored by various celebrities and brands. His career as a basketball player sets the stage for true success. In just 20 years, Bryant won five championships, one MVP award, and was named to the NBA All-Star 18 times.
Again, Kobe is indeed a legend. But people should really take a look at what happens off the court rather than just that. Regardless of the charges being dropped 15 months after the incident, the Kobe Bryant rape case is still considered one of the highest profiled rape cases which could have been simply be answered in one of two words: yes or no.