Friend says accuser is 'completely stable'

Updated: October 3, 2003, 11:54 PM ET
Associated Press

DENVER -- The woman accusing Kobe Bryant of rape attempted suicide twice this year, but feels emotionally strong as the case against the NBA star proceeds, a friend said.

In an interview to be aired Saturday on CBS's "48 Hours Investigates," Johnray Strickland confirmed the 19-year-old woman attempted suicide twice this year.

"I think we have all moved on from that and that was a dark time," he said.

"She is a completely stable person," he said. "These things had happened to her but she has been through so much and she is continuing to go through so much."

Strickland said the woman asked him to tell part of her story. And he is not bound by a judge's gag order that silences people directly involved in the case.

"She just wanted somebody to come out and really stand up for her," he said.

Strickland, 19, met the woman while the two attended the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley early this year. He has returned to school; she has not. He said they dated for a time and remain close friends.

He said she is scared of Bryant and would like to see him jailed.

Bryant, 25, is charged with sexually assaulting the woman June 30 in his suite at a mountain resort where she worked. The Los Angeles Lakers guard has said the two had consensual sex. Free on $25,000 bond, the Lakers star is scheduled to appear Thursday in Eagle for a preliminary hearing to determine whether he will stand trial.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press