Friend Says Kobe's Accuser 'Felt Chemistry' With NBA Star
Woman Pictured On Web Sites As Alleged Victim Hires Attorney
9:12 AM, Jul 23, 2003
There are more details surfacing about the night that NBA star Kobe Bryant allegedly assaulted a college student.
According to Wednesday's Denver Post friends of the 19-year-old woman who has accused Bryant said the woman felt a "certain amount of chemistry with him" when she led him on a tour of the Lodge & Spa at Cordillera. The woman was working at the front desk when Bryant arrived about 10 p.m. on June 30.Luke Bray, a friend and former classmate of the alleged victim, said Bryant asked the woman to show him around the resort. He said the woman was flattered by Bryant's attention."She said he was just really down to earth, and that he was acting like a great guy," Bray said.At some point during their stroll around the main lodge, Bryant invited her into his room, Bray said."She had thoughts of declining, but he had been nice. She felt safe about doing that," Bray said. He said she was on duty but not busy because of the late hour. She was due to go off duty at 11 p.m.Bray said the woman told him Bryant's attitude changed when she told Bryant she had to leave his room to return to the front desk for a shift change.
"Once she told him she had to leave, his attitude started to change," Bray told the Post. "From there the story gets crazy."Bray said she was shaken when she finally left Bryant's room and drove home alone. The next day, she told her mother and a friend about what happened and it was her mother that knew right away what happened, and it was her mother who told the woman, 'You were raped,' Bray said.Around noon that day, the woman went with her parents to the Eagle County Sheriff's Office and reported she had been raped.Lawyers for the five-time NBA All-Star have maintained his innocence and have not returned telephone messages seeking comment.On Tuesday, Bray told The Associated Press that "visible evidence" of the alleged attack remained on the woman a week later.An Eagle County district judge has sealed most documents, including the arrest affidavit, details of the physical evidence and other information.
The Denver Post, the Los Angeles Times, NBC and the Vail Daily have asked a district judge to release some of the material.Lawyers for the Vail Daily and the alleged victim filed written arguments Tuesday in the newspaper's request for police reports it believes are related to the woman. District Attorney Mark Hurlbert may file his own brief, spokeswoman Krista Flannigan said.Bray, 21, said he saw the woman about a week after the alleged assault on June 30. "She was still shaken up. She was pretty much in denial," he said. "She couldn't believe it."Bray said that the woman was at his house Friday to watch news conferences where Hurlbert announced the charges and Bryant admitted adultery and apologized to his wife."She couldn't believe that his wife was sitting there and apparently didn't care about adultery," Bray said.Sara Dabner, 17, who sang in the Eagle County High School choir with the woman, asked: "Why would a woman put herself through all of this -- having people call her names? I think she just wants to see justice done. She's not trying to drag him through the dirt."Bryant is set to return to Colorado and appear in court Aug. 6. to face a felony sexual assault charge.In the meantime, the woman whose picture has been posted on the Internet, identifying her as Bryant's alleged victim, has hired an attorney. She claims several Web sites show her picture misidentifying her as Bryant's accuser.The media and the authorities have declined to name the alleged victim but in the small town of Eagle, nearly everyone knows who she is. Another friend of the woman told reporters that the alleged victim is having second thoughts about reporting the incident to sheriff's deputies, seeing as how much attention the story is getting.On Tuesday, an Eagle resident Steve Evancho told NBC News that at his party days before charges were filed and the accuser "was bragging about it."