Philly burb Lower Merion’s native son gets roasted on Deadspin.com:

Did you hear? Kobe Bryant is a body-care guru now. Partnering with a pair of business-bro whipdicks and a smattering of pro athletes, including NBA MVP James Harden, he’s launching a line of beauty products for athletes and men who want to pretend they are athletes. Here’s a link to an article about it fromWomen’s Wear Daily, a fashion trade publication. The article refers to Bryant as a basketball legend, a world-class athlete, a celebrity of sport, and a five-time NBA champ. Somehow it never mentions that he is also an accused rapist who avoided a criminal trial verdict by bullying his accuser into silence. Maybe they ran out of column inches. And maybe so did ESPN and Sports Illustrated and everybody else, too.

Remember that shit? The world seems to have forgotten along the way to facilitating Bryant’s total public rehabilitation. On the night of July 1, 2003, Bryant choked a 19-year-old employee of the Eagle, Colorado hotel where he was staying (hard enough to leave bruises on her neck), bent her over a chair, and drew blood during the ensuing sex act. By the end of the night, she’d told a coworker that Bryant had forced himself on her; by the end of the next day he’d been contacted by local police. During the resulting criminal investigation, Bryant did not deny the encounter; he didn’t deny choking her; he even admitted he’d never asked for her consent, claiming to have inferred it from her body language. When it was all over—that is, after Bryant’s lawyers intimidated the woman out of the courtroom by reframing the forensic evidence to suggest that she was a lying slut—he even apologized for it, more or less:

First, I want to apologize directly to the young woman involved in this incident. I want to apologize to her for my behavior that night and for the consequences she has suffered in the past year. Although this year has been incredibly difficult for me personally, I can only imagine the pain she has had to endure. I also want to apologize to her parents and family members, and to my family and friends and supporters, and to the citizens of Eagle, Colo.

I also want to make it clear that I do not question the motives of this young woman. No money has been paid to this woman. She has agreed that this statement will not be used against me in the civil case. 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.


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