As we sat down to dinner last night, my son said, “Look. Kobe died.”

I looked at the phone screen. My first thought was: he was so young and oh my gosh his daughter. My next thought was: the rape.

I have never stopped thinking about the night Kobe raped a 19-year-old woman while she was working at his hotel.

There wasn’t much public discourse about the rape back in 2003. A company could fire a woman for reporting rape. Date rape was a term to describe sort-of-ok sex. Anita Hill testified in Congress, and the men concluded she was asking for it. There was not a lot of discussion about rape because we didn’t have adequate language. Maybe that’s why the Wikipedia page quoting Kobe’s confession to rape is titled Kobe Bryant Sexual Assault Case.

I was raped at work but I wasn’t sure. I thought maybe the guy was just being mean and crazy so I didn’t tell anyone. Which is why the most shocking thing to me about Kobe’s rape was that the victim told people. She got a rape kit. I was impressed. She let the police take pictures. She described the events in Kobe’s hotel room so clearly that they played over and over in my head. This is rape, I told myself. This is what it looks like, I told myself.

Today the Washington Post fired a journalist for referencing the historical importance of Kobe’s rape case. The Chicago Tribune and Atlanta Journal-Constitution ignored that Kobe admitted the sex was not consensual. And LA Times wrote a fanboy fantasy retrial masquerading as an obituary.

This onslaught of terrible journalism made me wonder if my son knew the truth.

He said, “Yeah. I know. Everyone knows.”

“Do you care?”

“Mom. I get it. It’s really bad that he did it. But he’s one of the greatest athletes of all time. It’s not fair to write about rape now. The amount of good he did in the world is huge. He donated millions of dollars to charity.”

“So if someone donates a lot of money then we should only talk about that and not the rape?”

“Mom. This is not a hot take. You’re being a fucking asshole. Just don’t write this. Did you see that there are burn marks on his daughter where he was hugging her as they died?”

I have to pause because that makes me so sad. And because I am so lucky to have my son here, alive. Also, I ask myself why I am arguing with him when I could be hugging him?

I decide an argument is sort of like a hug. I say, “So there’s no #Metoo for good dads?”

My son says, “Kobe led a life that inspired millions of people,” and then my son walks out of the room.

So I have to tell this to you: The judge in Brock Turner’s case used the same argument; he said Brock’s life had been too important to be tarnished forever by rape. The woman Brock raped — who we know now is Chanel Millerwrote that her life is important too, and Brock tarnished it forever.

The result was that Brock Turner’s judge was recalled in a public election, and Miller’s book, Know My Name, was a bestseller. So the public has spoken. We believe that big success does not make rape go away — for either the rapist or the victim. A person is the accumulation of all of their actions.

So we need to remember that Kobe raped a 19-year-old.

The criminal prosecutor put together the case against Kobe. Key points were that the victim had marks on her neck that police deemed consistent with large hands strangling her and holding her down. And that Kobe talked with the police that evening while wearing a T-shirt that was splattered with blood later found to contain the woman’s DNA.

Kobe’s team launched an intense, multi-pronged defense. They called the woman “crazy, suicidal… and trying to get attention from her boyfriend.” The defense argued that Kobe has the right to present the woman’s medical records to the jury to show she is a liar. The defense team said the T-shirt was inadmissible in court. And also that the blood was from her period. Finally, the team threatened to countersue for saying the sex with Kobe wasn’t consensual.

Kobe’s defense lost each of those arguments. So, right before the case began, Kobe cut a deal with the victim: If she does not show up to testify Kobe will make a statement amounting to a public admission of rape. The woman filed a civil case which settled with Kobe paying the woman an unknown sum of money.

One of the reasons we should remember this case is it is a very public and clear example of why our criminal justice system does not work for sexual violence. There are huge personal risks and emotional risks for a victim to testify against her rapist, but research shows almost no emotional benefit to testifying. So the victims frequently recant which makes prosecutors reticent to press sexual violence charges. This is why very few sexual criminals go to prison.

In a civil trial, on the other hand, the victim can win financial compensation for damages if she is can get through intense preparation and emotional trauma of the trial. But the ability of powerful rapists to pay off much less powerful victims is an extreme loophole in sexual violence law. You can see this secondary system of justice play out very clearly in the Kobe Bryant rape case.

While we mourn the death of Kobe Bryant the great athlete, we need to remember that rape doesn’t disappear just because we hate having to think about it. Kobe’s victim hates thinking about the rape too, but she will live the rest of her life with the memory of Kobe raping her.

This is not 2003. It’s 2020 and we have clear, accurate language to talk about the broad category that is sexual assault. Rape is the specific, term that describes Kobe Bryant’s case. So the first step toward journalistic honesty is to edit that watered-down face-saving Wikipedia page to say Kobe Bryant’s Rape Case.

When the media rewrites Kobe’s story to make him innocent, the media rewrites women out of the story. Kobe doesn’t need to be innocent to be loved. And his victim doesn’t need to be perfect to be believed. Kobe’s death is an opportunity for journalists to report difficult truths to readers and for moms to have tough conversations with kids.

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206 replies
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  1. Maura K
    Maura K says:

    The man in office is saving the Republic and has not been tried and found to be a rapist. I’m white. I find that whole race card argument very sad and offensive. White people risked their lives to assist Harriet Tubman. I find the worship of sports over everything else problematic in our culture and so does BLACK man Dr. BEN Carson, retired pediatric neurosurgeon from Johns Hopkins and first doctor to successfully separate baby twins adjoined at the head. He and his wife have a Carson scholarship fund for academic success and he talks about the distorted values in our country when you can walk into schools and see three-foot tall trophies for The High School Football championships but the academic scholars are awarded a tiny pin for their lapel. He and his wife changed that by awarding academic scholarships to students who showed tremendous academic achievement AND character. I don’t think Dr. BEN Carson, a black man, would award his scholarship to any student who was a well-known campus do-gooder, or philanthropist, who was also a rapist. Those two acts would likely cancel each other out and therefore, that student, while academically had excelled, would not be a recipient of the Carson scholarship, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Ukrainian, or otherwise.
    Let them mourn privately. Exactly. Please media, stop glorifying him. Once he committed such a heinous crime he should have no longer been in the public eye.
    The glorifying of him for his athletic prowess is stirring up to remembrance the trauma so many victims before have endured. Stop glorifying his name. He was a great basketball player and a sick misogynist. And let’s keep those in their proper order.

  2. Maura K
    Maura K says:

    One more comment about whites. How many white men died in the Civil War????? If my son died in that war and I was given a glimpse of the future of black Rapists, murderers and criminals in America I sure would feel his blood was shed in vain. The black community has had decades to get over it. Read a few books about the immigrants who come through Ellis Island and the horrific injustices they fled. Watch the movie FREEDOM WRITERS. Educate yourself.

  3. Maura K
    Maura K says:

    I’m not sure how many women would say having sex with a man who’s large hands are strangling her neck was consensual.

  4. ANTIONE D Turner
    ANTIONE D Turner says:

    You guys do realize the so-called victim had sex with someone right after she also told a whole lot of lies that she admitted to telling if you guys had an issue it should have been said and done while Kobe was alive not when him and his daughter has passed away you guys are sick disgusting people and mainly you’re cowards for doing this after someone’s death

  5. ness
    ness says:

    Wow. I dont think you followed the case, because your commentary about the events are inaccurate and highly biased. First, please stop trying to stress the age of this ‘girl’. She was 19, kobe was 24 or 25. Stop making it seem like he was some older predator. Second, your recollection of the case details is completely wrong. Sure, she took a rape kit, yet her co-workers testified that she showed no signs of distress after her shift that night. I know it’s not popular to state this on a forum with your type of audience, but regret is not rape. Lets not pretend that she accidentally found herself in a hotel room – during her shift – with a star/wealthy athlete and accidentally found herself having sex with him. Finally, i take huge issue with you trying to equate this with the brock turner case, where the girl did not have the physical, mental, or verbal ability to consent. Brock turner was a predator; kobe had a consenting adult who tried to take advantage of the situation. This is one huge reason why rape is still a difficult topic – too many women like her are crying wolf, and too few people are allowed to call her out on it. But, of course im just a terrible misogynist because i dared to analyze the situation instead of just believe women.

  6. charles stokes
    charles stokes says:

    Where did he admit to rape? I’ve been reading and reading. I don’t see it. Are you talking about where he empathizes with her? Your kidding right? You do know when a woman is or feels she’s been victimized it’s ok to believe and support her account. But sometimes it simply wasn’t rape. While I wasn’t there and neither were you we need to be careful with accusations like this. Especially with witnesses who have so many questionable motives. My two cents.

  7. Jacob Turner
    Jacob Turner says:

    Thank you for this! As a man, basketball fan and friend of Kobe fans, I want to do what’s right and share this.

    I can feel my stomach get queasy at the thought but I can’t let this be unseen and unheard.

    I even thought “too soon, Jacob!” But when is it too soon to speak up for our Queens and our mother’s and our daughters?

    It might hurt some folks, and it might hurt me but you said it “ Kobe doesn’t need to be innocent to be loved. And his victim doesn’t need to be perfect to be believed. Kobe’s death is an opportunity…”

    To me it’s an opportunity to have a dialogue about Sexual education with young people and a wider discussion about why more men don’t speak up about the trauma they have caused. I think it’s because they fear that they will never live down their mistakes, and to an extent I believe that is true. It just doesn’t make it any less necessary to speak up.

    In the end, I’ll still celebrate Kobe’s wins, but I won’t turn a blind eye to his shadow and miss the opportunity to speak about hard truths.

    Thank you again for this post!

  8. Allen Daley
    Allen Daley says:

    Meh I agree and disagree. In reality we do not know if her raped her or if she took advantage of an opportunity. People are flawed in one hand he could of raped her in the other they could have had sex she could have seen an opportunity to make money like she did. She could have not liked the way he wanted to have sex maybe he straight up raped her…that we will never know I think it’s a odd thing I would never state or believe he did not rape her nor say he didn’t idk I know 2 people had sex and it could go both ways…I’m not kobe Bryant or the victim..I was not there it was never proven nor do I believe it would ever be proven giving who he was but whose to say almost any sexual encounter could be played as rape. Doesn’t mean it was or wasn’t nothing about it was clear cut

    • Allen Daley
      Allen Daley says:

      I’m just not a jump on train guy…I cannot say he didn’t rape her I can see plenty of reasons why he would not rape her…And on the other hand maybe he did the honest truth is we do not know he stated he did not feel like he forced himself on her she stated he did…now if it was rape or not with out scratches on him…bruises from defence too much sex involves checking now to justify it from that…how can you automatically say yep its rape just because someone says so in that mode set any sexual act it rape as long as some days it is????? The bottom line is its he said she said and you choose t believe what you will…I choose a middle line I’m not sure I will not say it was or wasn’t. However I’m curious on how anyone can? I mean blood happens during sex that isn’t menstrual me and my wife of 7 years can attest to this if you choke someone too hard it can bruise the throat…but with no fight…nor any real evidence…other than sex happened how can you say blam rape because one party said it was it’s an awful situation to be hurled into for both parties but whose to say it was rape??? Or wasn’t no real evidence…

    • Allen Daley
      Allen Daley says:

      Someone with an opinion please reply idc how your views are on this I just want to see different view points I love learning I just can’t see how you could choose to say he was a rapist or not based on he said she said and an act of sex…was her word enough to convince you it was rape…I honestly dug some and cant find her full testimony I know she declined to in court but it must be some where i got pieces where she admitted she mis stated something’s but that was about it

  9. Kristina Mae
    Kristina Mae says:

    Why are you impressed she got a rape kit when she had sex with someone else before getting the rape kit done? Not a good way to hopefully get justice against your attacker. Your sexual history or life should not at all factor into a rape case EXCEPT that it has to if you’re going to use a rape kit as evidence. The rape kit showed she had sex with 2 other men within the 72 hours she claimed she was raped. I’m not saying not to believe her but the prosecution dropped the charges because they knew she wouldn’t win. They then sued Kobe before the civil trial because they knew they’d Lise that too. She received a settlement of 2.5 million dollars and her parents received money too. The apology was part of the settlement. Does the settlement make Kobe guilty? Maybe. But maybe he thought it was better to not go forward with a civil trial. In a “he said she said” trial it could have gone either way.

    • Katherine
      Katherine says:

      Tyler, notice that practically no one responded to my earlier comment. It’s as if it doesn’t exist. They treated just like they treat the pain of the wife and daughters who just lost their husband and Dad. They don’t have to pay attention to Black people’s pain. Forget about the fact that maybe the white woman they’re all taking up for may not want to be defined by that incident 17 years ago. Maybe SHE doesn’t want to be their fetish for whatever it is they’re trying to work out. If they’re so worried about celebrating a person who supposedly committed sexual assault, they need to take all the dead white dudes off the money.

  10. jane carnell
    jane carnell says:

    People– let’s get a sense of proportion. He was a basketball player, for cripes'[ sakes. Let’s get a sense of proportion. He wasn’t a statesman or a humanitarian or a volunteer. He was famous and he bought off his accuser. This is what wealthy people do in America. Who remembers, for example, that Joe Biden is a plagiarist? That’s what we do in this country. The culture of notoriety paralyzes our moral judgement. These people are a-holes and idiots. Where’s the GREAT? Show me. I’m waiting. Someday we will be having this same discussion about an Android/Robot. Let’s put it in perspective. He was a guy with physical talent, endurance, drive, who knew how to play a sport so well that was sublime. So what? It’s meaningless. My dog shoots baskets.

    • Katherine
      Katherine says:

      You need to get a sense of proportion, because you have no idea of what you speak. Yes, he was a humanitarian. He had more than one foundation dedicated to making the lives of children better. He offered assistance to the families of children who were victims of gun violence, including his personal time. He donated personal time, energy and money to very sick and terminally ill children, on the condition that it be without PR. He donated $1 million to the Smithsonian for the realization of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. He was a fierce advocate for women in sports. You don’t know anything about it because he worked to assist communities that you don’t value. He was a good Dad to four daughters, which is enough for most people. You sound like the a-hole.

    • Katherine
      Katherine says:

      Kobe was important to the Black community, to the Los Angeles community, to the town in Italy where he grew up. But, of course, that’s meaningless to you, because your dog or a robot could do the same. Thanks for reducing a real live human being to “these people.” That says more than anything.

  11. Mike
    Mike says:

    This entire thing is false because Kobe Bryant never admitted to raping anyone. He maintained that it was consensual sex. And he was acquitted of the rape. If you really think he was acquitted because he is a basketball player with a lot of money you’re delusional because what he was at the time was a young black man up against the judicial system of the United States after being accuse of rape by a white woman. You never get favorable treatment as a black man within the U.S. judicial system ESPECIALLY if a white woman has accused you of harming her in any way. Its amazing to me that I keep seeing white people calling this man a rapist when he was acquitted, maintained his innocence, and it was found out via DNA evidence that his accuser had sex with a man shortly after her sexual encounter with Kobe Bryant. Not to mention no such events or accusations have been said about Kobe Bryant before or since this rape accusation. I bet some of y’all still think Emmitt Till whistled at the white woman who accused him and was in recent years found to be a damn liar. If you are a black man in America and a white woman accuses you of anything type of sexual misconduct you are assumed guilty by society even if evidence proves you innocent. Thats a truth that goes back literally centuries. Rosewood, a black business district, was burned to the ground because a white woman lied and said a black man raped her. Tulsa OK, a black business district, was burned to the ground because a white woman lied and said she was sexually assaulted by a black man on a elevator. Y’all are trash as hell.

    • Katherine
      Katherine says:

      Mike, he was not acquitted because the case did not go to trial. The prosecutors dropped the case days before the trial and the woman sued him civilly which was settled with the terms undisclosed. I just wanted to make the correction for accuracy. I agree with your basic premise, though. Indeed, I believe that racism and white supremacy is what motivates these types of articles.

  12. Rob
    Rob says:

    Penelope, I have read your columns for over 20 years. I very rarely agree with what you write but I appreciate your viewpoint immensely, which is why I have continued to follow you and your escapades over the years. However, on this topic you have absolutely nailed it. People are complex human beings but we (or maybe just the media) have a hard time dealing with the idea that people can both do good and do evil. When I heard about his death my mind went to the same place and I have been surprised how much it has been ignored.

    In Australia, we have a similar issue in another area. Tennis legend Margaret Court is currently celebrating the 50th Anniversary of her (as yet unbeaten) Grand Slam victory. However, it seems the media and public have difficulty reconciling this with her conservative views on marriage equality. A very vocal group is advocating that the anniversary not be recognised at all due to our controversial opinions, and earlier this week, tennis legends John McEnroe and Martina Natravlova called for the stadium the Australian Open was played in (The Margaret Court Arena) to be renamed.

    The irony (and to bring the story back to the topic) is that Natravlova, in the same press conference where she was condemning Margaret Court, also suggested that Staples Stadium be renamed after Kobe Bryant. So, it appears that a conservative opinion on marriage equality is inexcusable but rape is.

    This is the screwed up world we live in!

  13. LJ
    LJ says:

    Money and power. The more we pay these male athletes, the more they think they can get away with this. Literally paying them to abuse women. I hung out with our local basketball team at parties in my younger years and they openly cheat and cover for each other. They go somewhere and think they can have anyone they want.
    I told my 13 yr old daughter the truth. And I’m glad you told your son regardless of his reaction. Kids are fed lies today!

  14. charles stokes
    charles stokes says:

    Funny how this garners any attention.
    Kobe didn’t rape that girl. There’s plenty of proof. 18 hours after her rape she took her sane exam with another mans semen on her.

    Her friends report it was a money grab. (Dig deep for this one)

    Others also report she was bragging how endowed Kobe was.

    Stop the nonsense Kobe was no rapist.

    Kobe also didn’t admit to anything. Whoever said that can’t read.

  15. Sean Crawford
    Sean Crawford says:

    I agree with the commenters saying that a man can be both good and bad. And in death?

    A novel that has received the two top science fiction awards (Hugo and nebula) is called Speaker for the Dead. In that one, when a sinner or saint dies, the Speaker does neither a whitewash nor a dark wash, but tries to include all so that people at last know the deceased. Even heroes deserve, in the end, to be known.

  16. Mark
    Mark says:

    I don’t completely agree with the author. Yes it is possible Kobe raped her. There is also possible evidence that would suggest there would have been enough reasonable doubt in criminal case. Having sex with another man after the alleged rape based on the DNA, bragging to her friends about Kobe’s “package” etc. As for statement at the settlement, that might have been legal/diplomatic terminology that was forced on Kobe as a part of the settlement. The statement mentioned there were different viewpoints. But Kobe still maintained he thought it was consensual at the time. Sure he was an adulter and a accused rapist. But we don’t know what actually happened in that hotel room.

  17. Gerald
    Gerald says:

    Although I couldn’t disagree MORE than I do with this blog and A lot of info was left out this post , it’s a different perspective

  18. Leroy
    Leroy says:


  19. jennifer
    jennifer says:

    Kobe never admitted to rape. that is purely YOUR interpretation. He said he realizes now that is how the accuser viewed it after the fact. that doesn’t constitute rape. She could have changed her mind after and felt like she wasn’t comfortable but that doesn’t mean she showed any indication to him during the encounter that she did not want to. and realistically when the hell does anyone ask to have sex in that moment?? GET REAL! and for the commenter who said a 19 year old would not have sex the first time meeting a celebrity?! are you joking?

    • ella bautista
      ella bautista says:

      Did you actually read the police report? He blocked the door, she pinned her down, he ignored her various no’s, he kept on and lets not forget he had her in a strangling mode as he raped her, as she fought him. Yes a few french kissing and then declining does not give any man the right to bum rush you up to the sofa bend you over strangling you and doing it cause he was famous and it got to his head. He was a slut and when she said no he just mowed on as if he was god. Anyone reading the police report has to conclude rape, unless its some type of twisted sex game they both consented to which she clearly outlines in the police report was rape, re read it, if you have not, as for the dinero, she was super rich and as for declining she refused to press forward, cause she had too many unhinged nut job fans, all prosecuted for death threats and one fool who was itching to execute her for a price, no police protection, the media hounding her, the Kobe team of heartless lawyers made it to many text books for their cruel and hateful acts. She was the one who did not get a fair trial. He was elevated to sainthood. Saint Kobe. She will have to hide till she dies to avoid some nut job fan who want to avenge his hero, the rapist. Lord save us from people who are so blind they cannot see what is obvious past the ball playing. He threw a ball. Period. He raped a 19 year old. What is more important in the long run. His crime against that family and her friends and to then deny it, and then to have people in mass more interested in this fool with his five million dollar ring to his wife, then even the impeachment and cover up with not witnesses. In the long run how you violate and destroy a woman or a child so they suffer all their lives is what needs to be remembered not that he could look so fine and was a stud with as many women as he could. What are we teaching all these children who are mesmerized by this fantasy mirage of a sports man who screwed away and even when he had a six month old baby he is raping and screwing away those who consented. Wow what a role model. Are we so low on heroes? What a wonderful man. Now before you say I am racist, I am part asian and supported the Black Panthers, who by the way had many issues around rape in the higher levels, and so did the American Indian Movements, high up leaders like Dennis Banks accused by many Indian women of rape, and murder. Kirk Doulgas, not settled on if he raped Natalie Woods, and we as a society have not learned the lesson about the bravery of all the women who came forward with Me Too and Time is up, the Hollywood starlets, the olympic team with that despicable doctor who sexually abused hundreds of children. Did you see the sentencing of that psycho? When a father of two of the victims, imagine both of ones daughters destroyed by a trusted doctor, he asks the judge; please give me five minutes with this man. Please judge. Nope, he says give me one minute please with this man. No says the judge then he makes the fasted run for the rapist, and he gets across the court room in a lightening flash before any law enforcement could tackle him and he almost gets ahold of this scum bag, I was cheering him on but then weeping, the horror his family will deal with forever. Then the Peace Core women came forward, then thousands of swimming girls came out about their trainers, little here and little there, women are coming out of the shadows, if men cannot stop or help, get the f… out of the way, because we are tired of our children being raped and sodomized and we look on as if its nothing until it happens to your family then your all up into justice. My former tenant is going up for allegedly 30 counts of rape, he was allegedly raping two children with objects and doing or having child porn, its all over, its pandemic, all levels of society, all classes, all colors. And while all this confessing and coming forward is transpiring the masses of Kobe as a saint are celebrating. Moral compass broken, ethically bankrupt. I never went up against any of the various men who assaulted me in Mexico and Kenya and USA. What is common was all men, all tired to take what was not theirs to take, beginning at age 8. Did I tell anyone of my heavy burden, the coals set upon my young heart to then drive me to try to kill myself a few times when I was 12. No. I never spoke up for many reasons. I knew and am proven over and over again no one would have believed me. And history is proving this with this pathetic display of saint Kobe. All the fans who are mourning this ball player there is another reality that is playing all over America, that is the reality of triggers and rape. When we see you celebrating a rapist, it is a slap in our faces and it makes light of rape, and I myself as a survivor and before you say man hater, I worked in level four prisons for 45 years as a volunteer with men, no man has ever called me a man hater who knows me. Rapist apologists call me a man hater. This spectacle of all the people making a big deal as its the most tragic thing that ever befell us, it sends shivers and dread up survivors spines to know we are amongst Neanderthals who can hold a ball player and a rapist in their mind set and conclude he is Saint Kobe. Now one thing that did pass thru my mind, is I wonder if in the end, when he had all those children and they were girls, if he changed his tune. Imagine if they got raped, I obviously do not hope that, all children need protection, but I wonder if he came to some form of awareness about the reality of his girl children and the danger they are in this society. I think he would have come to the conclusion and might have really understood what he did, and then would be a teachable moment, in real time, to teach that yes I raped, yes I do understand what I did, I regret it, I will think and worry about my own babies, and I will do everything to stop violence against children and women. Now if he had the balls and did that I would apply him myself to sainthood to the pope, because then he would have done something so grand, so exceptional, so necessary, and he would have had a huge impact on boys but he missed his opportunity to make amends. Then as a survivor I would have admired him for his courage and recovery. Most Americans know that to snitch means stitches, to snitch is to die or be shanked in prison. Mostly all snitches but I think there are levels of snitching, you see your neighbor is raping children, you turn him in, snitch or no snitch, and some fool rapper said he would not even turn in a serial killer. Until black women dropped a bomb on his fools misguided head. Snitching is really considered snitching when you tell within your own crew set or gang or affiliation not what is called civilians they do not go by the rules, but still can fall under danger if they do snitch, but not as bad as if you are in the life. The thug reality of gang activities. Someone snitches about something to get a pass or favor or reduction- some benefit. Opportunism. Kobe the snitch, he snitched on Shaq, totally ratted him out, squealing he did it too, but he pays millions to silence those women. Where was the shank for that? Its almost a set mind control in the black community- no snitching, ever. Under any circumstance. ( For a moment lets forget that who can we go to when law enforcement is working themselves down into criminality outdoing gangs, because they kill with impunity and well see, we are drowning in corruption on all levels as society decomposes, so even if you want to snitch, you go snitch to the biggest gang of criminals, the cops. If the good cops remain silent they are bystanders and I throw them in with the criminals if they lack balls to protect us from their corrupt cops.) Where is Snoop Doggy Dog on that one, who claims the gang life and the rules of the game, snitches die, they die as much as child molesters in the joint. Snoop put down the joint long enough to threatening a high profile trusted reporter, So brave Snoop, where were you when your saint was snitching. Your from the hood, snitches get death. But Kobe gets a pass and the journalist gets a death threat from Snoop. And then lameness upon lameness, Snoop says two wrongs do not make a right. Gayle King a sweet light hearted woman reporter who had to claw her way up to her position as its cut throat life in the media, she did nothing wrong, she asked about the rape. She is a reporter, that is what we do, we asked the questions. So maybe the timing was not great. Death threats to her. Those who do this childish behavior should be ashamed of themselves, but to have shame you have to have regret and have to have insight, a level of consciousness that seems to elude the masses of fans -it reminds me of zombies who have no ability to think for themselves and want to kill and threaten the messenger who are mirroring back the truth, but the zombies cannot understand because they were raised wrong and are brain dead, lacking in any form of compassion or empathy they just want brains to chew on and spend their lives embroiled in sports cheering on their team. And lets end this sad tale with this fact.
      Facts about Super Bowl Sunday & Domestic Violence – › california › pleasanthill › facts-super-bowel-sunday-dom…
      Jan 12, 2019 – More incidents of domestic violence occur on Super Bowl Sunday than an other day of the year.
      Go team. Smash, hit, beat up. Go team. Beat up a little more, slap around your “bitch”, go team. Yeah. Then again maybe you can unload 70,000 for a good seat at the super bowl. I seriously wonder as a Christian what Jesus would think of all of this; rape and wasting these levels of money on nothing when the planet is collapsing and end of times is coming. We merrily nurse addictions as judgement day approaches.

      • Pet Charles
        Pet Charles says:

        How many of the alleged victims obtained a financial settlement? There are Black men who are proven to be innocent after spending 25-years in prison for rape and other crimes who don’t get a penny in settlement!!

      • Pet Charles
        Pet Charles says:

        A police report dictated by an alleged victim is not considered evidence!! Anybody can say anything–including the police–in a report. How many of the alleged victims obtained a financial settlement? There are Black men who are proven to be innocent after spending 25-years in prison for rape and other crimes who don’t get a penny in settlement!!

  20. Nicole
    Nicole says:

    Wikipedia is not a reliable source for facts because they can so easily be changed. But you know that or at least I hope you would know that.

    Rape and sexual assault is never okay. But neither is misrepresenting facts to ease your own discomfort of your personal trauma.

    Kobe never confessed to rape, he admitted to adultery and stated that they both clearly misunderstood the events that took place. Your headline is for attention, but you already know that because good writers know how grab people’s attention even if it’s misleading.

    In this instance your son has more decorum than you do. A person can make a mistake, admit the mistake and then live a life worth noting which is what Kobe Bryant did. If he didn’t, then we would have seen a pattern of destructive behavior but instead we saw an evolution of a man that reached beyond basketball.

    The country is always showing its racist slip when despite what a minority man accomplishes and achieves, his life worth is never above the tears of white women.

    There are politicians in office who’ve been accused multiple times, living athletes who’ve been charged with rape multiple times that are still playing. It’s amazing how people all of a sudden care about rape culture in America when it’s a black man with a white accuser. So why vilify him now when he can’t defend himself? Fairly vilify the living.

    If someone is adamant about being sexually assaulted then why would they show up to an exam wearing underwear with semen and hair on them for another man that isn’t the man she is accusing. The fact is, no sexually assaulted woman would.

    Let the world grieve, the man died in the most tragic way possible with his little girl whom he couldn’t protect from the inevitable along with his friends and staff that also couldn’t protect their little girls. Four families lives have been forever changed.

    -Signed a white woman who was sexually assaulted

  21. Spider
    Spider says:

    Who knows, but you know what I know….We’ve seen countless of stories like Emmit Till, who we knew was innocent, but not till her death bed did the coward tell the truth.
    As a matter of fact, just google black wallstreet, and what you’ll find in places like Greenwood, Ok, where white americans killed over 10k black americans, was said to have started by a women being “raped” which they knew she wasn’t, but they WANTED to believe. Over 10k…but Sept 11 was the largest terrorist attack…No. But with this being said I’m in no way saying Kobe did it or not, but in the end he wasn’t GUIlTY of the crime, in any other walk of life, this would be considered fact that it happened but not relevant when someone tragically dies.

  22. Todd Shea
    Todd Shea says:

    Dear Penelope Trunk,
    This column and some of the comments are extraordinarily sickening in the racial and sexist bias they are just dripping with. The way you and some of your commenters exploit every negative stereotype of black men, black athletes, and black rich people and twist every fact of this case towards the conclusion YOU want to believe is just disgusting. No white woman has ever lied, right? No white woman has ever cunningly taken advantage of a situation that presented itself, right? No white woman diagnosed with schizophrenia ever behaved in an unstable or or psychotic way, right? The evidence clearly showed that the forensic expert was convinced that the young lady had sex with another man after Kobe and before the rape-kit exam. Secondly, Kobe never confessed to rape and you are either totally dishonest or totally delusional in saying that he confessed. If Kobe believed that, based on the evidence gathered, the young lady was suffering a mental illness, then of course he could later come to the conclusion that she believed the sex wasn’t consensual even though to any reasonable person it would appear that it was completely consensual at the time. Men are not mind readers. The young lady’s behavior, before and after the incident, was not at all consistent with someone who is a victim of anything. If a woman finds that she is not enjoying consensual sex because it’s too rough or ends up being unpleasant, doesn’t make it rape. The evidence strongly suggests he stopped when she stopped. Then she left of her own free will just as she went to his room and engaged in sex of her own free will. The only person in this story who is being raped is Kobe. By you and your hateful, vengeful friends. You are shameful and pathetic. Kobe did some questionable things in his younger years and was unfaithful to his wife, but he never raped anyone before that night or since that night and grew up.and became a role model and a good husband and father, so with that and the facts of that evening I am even more inclined to believe that no rape occurred that night. You should be deeply ashamed of yourself. You and your apologistic worshippers have literally made me puke wondering what in the hell is wrong with most of us white people SMH.

    • The Average Black Guy
      The Average Black Guy says:

      I truly appreciate your comments! I thank you so much for remembering the information of this case. Some people don’t remember the times, or are too lazy to look into the facts of the case that made the prosecution throw out the case. Some people are lazily claiming that the reason the prosecution throughout the case was because the accuser would not testify. The problem in believing that is that prosecutions will often times move forward with cases without any accuser to testify. Like in murder cases, what victim of murder could testify as to who killed them? Unfortunately, the narrative is being switched from the mourning family, and all the people who have died, to a a false accuser who is living. We have to put our thoughts and prayers with those who are dealing with incredible unthinkable losses. Because as much as you may want to throw dirt on Kobe, he is no longer here to hear any of that, but his family is. Instead of being able to focus on positive memories and moving on with any semblance of normality, they have to hear people ranging from insensitive all the way to disgusting and hateful, with no respect for the situation speak on things they had 17 years previous to speak on. If I ever see Penelope Trunk’s name in anything relevant, I will never forget this blog and her comments and view her works with skepticism.

      Mr. Shea, I truly appreciate you speaking to the facts and not the emotion. Thank you so much!

    • Sandra
      Sandra says:

      He was a good husband after cheating on her for 10+ years? Would you say that if his wife was your daughter? Pretty low standards for a good husband.

  23. Isaac
    Isaac says:

    Kobe did not confess to anything. He stated after going through all the evidence a year later he has come to understand that she did not believe it was consensual. He never stated that he agreed with her. Also, her name was leaked by the prosecutor, defense and court. I do not know if Kobe raped her or if he didn’t rape her. Reading all the facts and transcripts I can not tell. Do I believe women, yes but only after I have listened to both sides. I think my issue here isn’t whether the rape case should be brought up, which it should be in his memory, but that you are calling him a rapist instead of mentioning that he was accused of rape. There are plenty of false rape accusations that lead to men being incarcerated falsely along with plenty of men who deservedly are in prison. But do not conflate an accusation with a guilty verdict. I agree that this trial and time in his life is apart of his legacy not to be forgotten. I also agree that we need to change how rape is handled legally and in the public eye. For people who think he is guilty for settling out of court that is dumb people do it all the time. Whether rich or poor. What we should take from his legacy is changed behavior and that he may or may not have committed an atrocity. Not that a rapist is being heralded because again no one knows. That girls story has plot holes in it as well just like Kobe’s does.

  24. Ofelia Rincon
    Ofelia Rincon says:

    This article is full of misinformation, starting with the title of it.

    Kobe Bryant did not admit to rape. In the very Wikipedia page (and other reliable sources) that you posted it clearly states his stance:
    “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.”.

    Kobe first lied to investigators about having sex with her. She lied to investigators about why she was late to work and that Kobe forced her to wash her face. When she had her underwear examined it had another mans semen and pubic hair. The woman also agreed to the settlement as long as Kobe would release a statement that she would approve of, and he did, clearly stating he believed it was consensual.

    The only two people that know what happened that night are Kobe and the woman.

    You say your son claims there are burn marks on Gigi was being held by Kobe. The bodies have only been recovered 24 hours ago and not only has there not been info released on them, but it’s highly doubted that there will be enough left to define anything that specifically.

    If you are going to all yourself a journalist, at least fact-check your shit first.

  25. james R.
    james R. says:

    Because the case received so much coverage, everyone, even those not paying close attention, saw what happened to the alleged victim. It’s nearly impossible to measure that impact. According to Shapiro’s book, however, there are other women who had similar encounters with Bryant — one in particular who was able to escape before an assault occurred — who wouldn’t cooperate with the Colorado trial because of how the alleged victim in that case was treated.

    In the immediate aftermath of the hearing, it was no surprise that sexual assault reporting declined dramatically at the alleged victim’s school, the University of Northern Colorado.

  26. Kerri-Lynn
    Kerri-Lynn says:

    I’m not a basketball fan. I’ve never felt anything much for Kobe, until I heard about his death. I cried….perhaps because I’m a mother of children that have a passion for volleyball. I’ve been that parent driving endless times to tournaments. In that sense I could relate. A day of parents encouraging and supporting their children. A day full of excitement and love for the game. Ending in tragedy. A father, his daughter, all the other humans that died along side of them. They all had loving families that are all mourning. 3 innocent girls lost thier lives and innocent siblings that are left behind to mourn. Innocent families. The innocent teammates that awaited thier coaches and teammates arrival that day. They are all mourning. So sad, can’t we just be kind humans. Can’t we put our own worth and opinions aside for a moment. Is this what the #metoo movement is about. Our movement would want to add to thier suffering? No I truly don’t think we would. This article could of waited.
    My heart goes out to all that are suffering. Canada loves you

  27. karma
    karma says:

    this is a well written post, but i don’t agree with ALL of the writer’s statements.

    -i DO think Kobe raped that woman
    -i DO NOT think Kobe confessed to raping that woman

    Where I take issue, is when i see a pattern of sexual violence against women which extols the virtues of men. this is not about black vs white. this is about money/power, gender imbalance and justice. im not black/white but i am a woman. i can imagine being a 19 year old working at a hotel lobby, being excited about having a celebrity coming to my workplace and having the opportunity and privilege to meet him, especially with him requesting a personal tour. i would never think that i would be in physical harm or be violated in any way because this person is famous, handsome , rich, is married etc. but also, i wouldn’t even imagine that this person would take that type of sexual interest in me because we weren’t in the same social circles.

    just because someone is an athlete does not mean he or SHE can commit crime , violate another person and be a bad person. kobe essentially paid this woman off. he PAID her to go way, but not before humiliating her in public repeatedly. she essentially had enough, she gave up and probably had lawyers telling her to just take the money and move on. kobe is VERY LUCKY she made THAT choice. it probably saved him from jail, loss of his family/fame/income. in an alternate universe, he may still be alive but in prison and we would all be cursing him for his lasciviousness.

    i also don’t doubt for a minute Kobe didn’t do this before but it just never became public. im not surprised that his wife filed for divorce, it is good that she held on b’c now she gets it all . again who knows what would have happened if different choices were made . things could be very different, for better . for worse.

    what bothers me more is how we have allowed men to keep getting away this ‘boys will be boys’ attitude. its nonsense and it needs to stop. if kobe were my son, i would be embarrassed that i raised up a kid so poorly , so entitled to a woman’s body that he would do what he did.

    kobe is dead, suddenly and shockingly. but he was NO SAINT.

  28. Gary
    Gary says:

    Kobe Bryant was a rapist and prolific adulterer. He’s deeply scarred many including his wife. I wonder how those that celebrate his life would feel if Kobe raped their daughter, sister or wife.

  29. Linley White
    Linley White says:

    Penelope or whatever your name is,

    You should stick to topics you have a better understanding of like being hysterical, neurotic, or annoying. I think Kobe could have taught you a thing or two about being a parent. You really need to gain a better understanding of what actually happened and a better understanding of the so-called victim that you are canonizing in this hit piece. Your expertise in one area often leads you to think you are similarly adept to comment in other areas and your once-interesting and refreshingly honest blog has deteriorated into the tired, political blatherings of an unraveling narcissist who is either unaware or too aware of her fleeting relevance.

  30. rentbocaoffices
    rentbocaoffices says:

    The rape allegation are part of his legacy. He created that as much as he created his basketball legacy or his marriage and children. He was a complex character, emblematic of his time. Respect and forgiveness. Those are the most important part of remembering a human being who went around the sun with us on our great journey. Nobody went up to his face and called him a rapist the day before he died. What changed when he died?

  31. Melissa
    Melissa says:

    He never confessed. He maintained he thought it was consensual and he acknowledged there were different interpretations of what happened that night. That doesn’t mean he agreed with her interpretation. Maybe she regretted it and changed her mind. The statement may have been a compromise his legal team had reached with hers. His legal team may have urged him to accept it so they could finalize the settlement and he could move on and put it behind him.

    Do I personally think he raped her? Maybe. But someone claiming that he did is misleading at best when it is really unknown and inconclusive if he did or not.

  32. Jim C.
    Jim C. says:

    As I read this essay the TV was on in the next room with coverage of the Harvey Weinstein trial. Obviously he’s a complete creep and practitioner of the casting couch, and probably a multiple rapist. But on my way through the room I saw a summary of the testimony of one of his accusers. According to her, he promised her a lucrative contract on condition that she go to bed with him. No sex, no contract. She saw nothing wrong with her conduct in trading sex for money.
    That’s not rape. That’s soliciting prostitution on his part and prostitution on her part. He could also be sued for misusing his company’s money to buy sex and maybe to give a role to a less-qualified actress on the basis of sexual favors.
    The whole thing makes me even more disgusted with the Hollywood culture than I already was.

  33. Chidera Okobo
    Chidera Okobo says:

    I read an excerpt last week that sums up this article: “Human beings are incredibly complex; one person can simultaneously be the best dad, a terrible husband, great son, astute business man, amazing employee and a pedophile.”

  34. CJ
    CJ says:

    Of course a white woman is going to call him a rapist. Its what they do, cant kill us any more like Emmet till or like in Rosewood when almost the entire town of black people was killed because of a white accusing a black man of rape….but we get it, it what you do now..try to destroy us in the media…but its cool.

  35. Girl bye.
    Girl bye. says:

    Your piece is as good as gossip. In an unwarranted attempt to connect the dots with his death to rape, you’ve failed to honor the facts of his case. And with that, it shows your blatant ignorance, arrogance, and insecurity.

    I will correct you.

    It’s unfortunate that the woman had to encounter what she did. She accused him of rape. He was never found guilty. He admitted that he felt that their sex was consensual. And realized that she may not have felt that way. His team paid her money to assist with any acquired legal fees. This is not uncommon.

    That’s it.

    Since his death. I’ve observed comment after comment from mainly white women who are furious about the public grieving his death. On message boards, lengthy Facebook posts, etc… saying to the extent… BUT HE WAS A RAPIST. It’s like an response on autopilot. You fling around the term rape when it’s suiting to YOU. You feel like you are standing up for the underdog.

    Meanwhile, your ancestors have for a fact raped millions. So when you pay respects to your ancestors, do you also say but they were a rapists too? No, because like this case. No one was formally convicted. It’s a non factor.

    You don’t get to change the outcome of this court case. You aren’t superior than the law. And this is what bothers you folks. You use this tactic when it’s self serving to yourself.

    So, again… this is a gossip piece. Not facts. Not the law. And now we’ll all remember that time that famous black retired basketball player who died with his daughter and many other white ppl… and the many white women who said that he was a rapists.

    Job well done.

  36. David
    David says:

    Kobe never confessed to raping that woman. That is a lie. Also, the Washington Post journalist was suspended NOT fired.

    I read the entire article, however you lost all credibly early.

  37. Sean Crawford
    Sean Crawford says:

    Call me a math nerd,
    but I can’t help noticing that a post about one person gets over three times the comments of Penelope’s recent post about the national prevalence of domestic violence.

    Alas, during my lifetime I do not expect any credible men, including national level basketball players, speaking out against domestic violence. As Penelope noted, there is no #metoo for that.

  38. Ernest
    Ernest says:

    This article, along with the others like it, represent only those who want to ‘cast the first stone’. If this writer and others who see it necessary to make a hater’s case against Kobe post- mortem were to look inside their own spirits, I am sure they would find that debauchery and vileness, hate and jealousy have found root in their spirits and their daily lives. Any mention of his so called rape is rooted in racism- even if its mentioning is from brown skinned voices. Such voices have yet to learn to not cling to ‘da’ master’s thinking’, nor to imitate his ways.

  39. A. Warrior
    A. Warrior says:

    The article was just as dramatic as the original accusation. It’s awfully strange how a mutual agreement not to move forward with a trial turns into an admission of guilt. This writer states Kobe Bryant confessed to raping the woman when he clearly did not. It was a letter of apology as agreed, not an admission of guilt. He wanted no more publicity and to move on with his life and career and she didn’t want questionable details about her sex life before and immediately after the Kobe incident on trial.

    What Kobe said was “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 encounter.” She was off work by 7PM and waited three hours until 10PM to meet Kobe. And, are we just going to ignore the fact that it was determined she had sex with another man (perhaps her boyfriend) less than 15 hours after the supposed rape and prior to her examination? Her version of what happened is not the default for truth. SMDH @YouVultures.

  40. John Quillan
    John Quillan says:

    Kobe Bryant was no better than Bill Cosby.. P. O. S.!!HE ADMITTED TO RAPE!!! DONT FORGET THAT!!! Hes a Zero not a Hero! God Bless his daughter!!! He’s forgiven now yet many have had to carry that burden for their entire lives..

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      You already know the link. The link is in my post at least 4 times. It’s where Kobe apologized publicly and said he now realizes that he put his penis into a woman who did not want him to put his penis into her. That is rape.

      This is the exact same thing that Brock Turner said in his apology speech. Brock said he realizes that he put his fingers into a woman who did not want him to put his fingers into her.

      Brock’s case is rape. And Kobe’s case is rape. Both men say that they made a misjudgment about consent. When men make “misjudgments” about consent, it is rape.


      • The Average Black Guy
        The Average Black Guy says:

        This is very typical of dishonest people. They try to take two different situations and make a false equivalency. I hope that it is out of a lack of facts about this case that your opinion is what it is. It is highly unlikely in America that a Black man in this country would be found not guilty without evidence that would exonerate him. Kobe made an apology in which he acknowledged that their perceptions of what happened on that fateful night were different. He did not apologize for raping her. He never committed rape according to the suspiciously scarcely available facts, not my opinion. Luckily I am old enough to remember why the case was thrown out. Also if you do a little research you will find out why as well. It’s funny how people do not remember the case, or the reason why the prosecution throughout the case. There were at least four factors that led to the prosecution throwing out the case. When the prosecution refuses to move forward, It’s because there’s damning evidence that will hurt their case. It happens very often that an accuser chooses not to testify. It was damning when the woman had multiple semen samples that she submitted. It was damning when the forensic expert gave his opinion that she had sex after her and Kobe had sex. The reason why he made this finding, was because the amount of semen and the fact that there was no evidence of the other man’s semen found on any of Kobe‘s clothing. So the encounter would’ve had to happen after. And any encounter that would happen directly after a rape is highly unlikely of a rape victim. The multiple witnesses who also claimed that she was at a party bragging about Kobe‘s anatomy and that she was going to get money from him is very damning as well. Lastly she was hospitalized for schizophrenia four months before the rape and she was taking medicine for it. It’s highly lazy to make a headline like this. And it’s classless to go after Kobe Bryant before his body can be laid to rest. You have 17 years to do this. What you have is an opinion, what you fail to address is all the facts. That is quite disgusting! I have a sneaky suspicion that you did not have the same energy for Kirk Douglas or David Bowie, right after their deaths.

  41. ella seneres
    ella seneres says:

    I was disgusted with all this hero worshipping of a man who could throw the ball so fine. He raped her, the testimony is clear, he tried to talk his way out of it when he was busted, he tried to tell her it was their secret, he outed Shaq like a snitch saying he did the same but paid women off, and I was not sure if he was implying the adultery or the raping oh I loved the chocking part, and then people kinda forget that she had so many credible death threats and some psycho who was willing for a price to execute her. Most these fools got prosecuted. No police protection, the prosecution would have crucified Jesus and the media protected a guy who could handle a ball and so despicable was the legal team of his that it made it into briefs and college courses, books, and at the 2020 Grammys and Oscars comments about he is the best thing; the kindest man, the best of the best, a bunch of fools celebrating a man who could throw and run good. But he raped and ruined a woman. And a family. Most women do not lie about rape. She sure did not do it for the money; she came from a wealthy family. Now if she bragged about his dick, maybe that is how she was coping or making light of the horror, but what most likely happened as Kobe lied and lied and lied three times to the cops, he gets a pass from the shallow society who thinks sports are important. He was so elevated in statue that he almost should be sainted. Maybe rapists can pray to saint Kobe. I also was disgusted by the wife, totally shallow human who accepted a four million dollar bribe ring, oh I am so sorry. Look at this shinny ring and forget that I raped a woman, and by the way I screw tons of women, look at the pretty ring I got you. Total sell out of her soul. Complicit and status hungry devoid of ethics and a moral compass. How low can we go to worship a rapist who could throw a ball. I will not shed one tear when his ilk Harvey dies too, sometimes death is too easy. The survivors live on to suffer a life time of side effects, the rapists who society think are important because of a ball game get a pass. Society has failed to teach basic concepts and has been blinded by star studded over paid sports activities. Do you took this addiction and madness out of this over consumed mania for this obsession, if he was not some hot shot super star, would you still think he was innocent, or is he a sacred bull? Saint Kobe, patron saint of rapists. Oh Saint Kobe please find me soulless attorneys to destroy the one I raped, Oh Saint Kobe I pray that the media also destroys this woman I violated. Oh Saint Kobe deliver me from the feminists and those with moral fortitude, blind my enemies and raise me up and make everyone forget and live in a fantasy of how wonderful I am. I pray for this Saint Kobe, so mote it be. And with all these death threats to well known female reporters because the men have lost their testicles and the women are getting the threats, chill out and be mute and lets kumbaya and go into forgiveness and compassion and hey look at that ring everyone. He did not have to use a ring on his fans, they were one geared humans that rape is fine, rape is great and saw some slob at a comedy club laughing about the penis trying to enter the vagina, making rape gestures and laughing and the whole brain dead audience was having a merry time over rape. Jesus weeps.

  42. Naomi
    Naomi says:

    I agree 100% with your article and I’m not sure if someone brought this up already but why didn’t anyone speak up about this rape case and stand up for the victim while he was still alive? I get how annoying it is when someone dies they make that person out to be perfect when they weren’t but why not point out this man’s flaws when he was alive? Ur son totally has a point when he acknowledged that he knew what Kobey did was wrong but to bring it up now is not the time, he did not make the assault less valid but he showed empathy towards Kobey’s wife and kids left behind. Empathy is so important un a situation like this.

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