Civil lawsuit still moving forward

DENVER -- Kobe Bryant's attorneys asked a judge Monday to
make sure the NBA star doesn't have to answer questions about what
they called other "consensual relationships" as he defends
himself against a civil lawsuit accusing him of rape.

Lawyers for both sides had previously discussed that Bryant
would be deposed Tuesday in California, answering questions for the
first time under oath about what happened at a mountain resort last

However, in a filing released Monday in federal court, Bryant's
lawyers said both sides couldn't agree on the kinds of questions
the Los Angeles Lakers star would be asked.

They said planned questions about Bryant's history of
"consensual sexual relationships with anyone other than the
plaintiff" have "no possible relevance" to the woman's claims.
They asked a judge to bar such questions.

"On December 1, plaintiff's counsel suggested that he was
entitled to learn the name of each woman with whom Mr. Bryant has
ever had a sexual encounter, even if Mr. Bryant testified under
oath that the sexual encounter was consensual," Bryant's lawyers
wrote in the filing.

His laywers also said the deposition should be delayed until the
woman decides whether to move her suit to state court in
California, so he would only have to be questioned once. The
defense wants Bryant, a married father of one, to be able to give
his deposition in California, where he lives.

They also asked that a judge determine which documents,
including medical and financial records, should be kept sealed.

Bryant attorney Pamela Mackey did not return a call seeking
comment. John Clune, an attorney for the woman, declined comment.

The filings indicate that lawyers in the case negotiated over
where the deposition would take place, with Bryant's lawyers
seeking to keep the time and place secret because they were worried
about media attention. In a Nov. 29 letter to one of Bryant's
attorneys, L. Lin Wood, one of the woman's lawyers, wrote he didn't
think Bryant should get any special treatment.

"I am confident that any `media circus' in the civil case will
pale in comparison to the `media circus' in the criminal
proceedings, which did not seem to interfere with the proceedings
in that case in Eagle," Wood wrote.

In the criminal case, the woman answered hours of questions
about her sexual history behind close doors in a pretrial hearing.
The judge in that case ruled that defense lawyers could ask her
about her sexual activities in the three days before her hospital

The case never went to trial.

Prosecutors dropped a sexual assault charge against Bryant on
Sept. 1 after the woman said she no longer wanted to participate in
the criminal case following a series of courthouse gaffes that
released details about her on the Internet.

Her civil lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for pain, scorn and
ridicule the woman says she has suffered since her encounter with
Bryant at the Vail-area resort where she worked in June 2003.
Bryant's attorneys say the woman was an "eager, willing

No trial date has been set in the civil case.