Last Week's Creeps This Week: Kobe Bryant

Producer: Amina Waheed, Editor/Animator: Hope Sincere, Shooter: Phoebe Bradford

Welcome back to Where Are They Now?: Last Week’s Creeps This Week, a series that catches up with creeps of yore.

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Most of us know Kobe Bryant for his skillful moves on the court (take it to Deadspin, please) and for his recent unlikely Oscar win. But we should also know him for being accused of raping a 19-year-old woman in 2003. The man has layers, guys, like a bad fucking onion.

Senior Editor, Jezebel

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DISCUSSION

I watched the first two videos in this series, and this one almost seems out of place. With Woody Allen, you have a guy that was accused of sexual assault by one daughter who went on to marry his step daughter. There’s a proven attraction to a woman he raised, and while still definitively presumptive, one could draw a correlation between that and the accusations. With Mel Gibson we have several of the receipts.

With Kobe Bryant, we have one accusation and grey area. I know that the media reports appear to be damning but in being involved in the legal world, I know that a lot of things are taken out of and inserted into narratives to build the best case with the most clear context. His legal team chose an aggressive strategy in defending their client against very serious allegations and that seems to be one of the main sticking points against him. There aren’t multiple incidents or a lengthy background of treating women poorly, manipulating women, etc. The legal statement that his team c0-drafted with the accuser’s team seems to also get taken out of context. It’s standard in high profile settlements that both sides would look for allowances that enable each to spin said allowances as reason for their client to be vindicated. The statement gives the accuser enough of a win while also still maintaining Bryant’s innocence.

I don’t say all of that to say that to say that I believe one side over the other. I say it to say that I don’t know and I don’t see how anybody else can either. I’d rather promote the facts than the rumors and opinions. He cheated on his wife which is a shitty thing to do but she forgave him and she’s certainly not the first woman to do so. His legal team aggressively defended their client against accusations that they believe to be false and found what they felt was a fair outcome for their client. He wouldn’t be the first person to be falsely accused of a serious crime. He wouldn’t be the first person to get off without paying the proper penalty for a serious crime.