Attorneys cite safety, privacy issues

Originally Published: August 27, 2004
Associated Press

DENVER -- The woman accusing Kobe Bryant of rape must remain anonymous in the civil lawsuit she has filed against him because of past threats against her and her privacy rights, her attorneys said in a court filing released Friday.

Attorneys John Clune and Lin Wood said they agreed that many details in the civil case could be released to the public as long as her name remains secret. Most media organizations have not reported her name, though it has appeared online and twice been published accidentally on a state courts Web site.

In their Aug. 10 motion, Clune and Wood said they were concerned about securing their 20-year-old client's privacy interests, "including information of a highly sensitive and personal nature." They said the woman fears for her safety and reputation if her name is made public.

"Since the filing of the criminal case, plaintiff has been the subject of death threats, the media has disseminated the most intimate details of her private life, and through inexcusable mistakes by the Eagle County Court, false and-or highly prejudicial accusations about her purported sex life have been released for public consumption,'' they said.

They also said Bryant's fair-trial right would not be hampered by the woman's anonymity because his attorneys know the woman's name and will be able to conduct their own investigation.

The release came after attorneys for a dozen news organizations objected to the effort by Clune and Wood to seal details in the case. The lawsuit, filed in Denver federal court, seeks unspecified monetary damages.

Jury selection in the felony sexual assault case against Bryant, 26, began Friday. If convicted, the Los Angeles Lakers star faces four years to life in prison or 20 years to life on probation, and a fine up to $750,000.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press