Defense says past relationships irrelevant

Updated: January 13, 2005, 1:26 AM ET
Associated Press

DENVER -- NBA basketball star Kobe Bryant should not be required to answer questions about his sexual history in a civil lawsuit against him because it would violate the privacy of his past sexual partners, his attorneys argue.

Lawyers for the woman accusing Bryant of rape want to interview the Los Angeles Lakers guard under oath as part of the suit she filed in August, three weeks before the criminal case was dropped. The suit seeks unspecified money damages from Bryant for the alleged emotional injuries the woman has suffered since their encounter at a hotel near Vail in June 2003.

Bryant has said the sex was consensual.

Bryant's deposition, which would require him to answer questions from the woman's attorneys, was delayed because both sides cannot agree on what questions should be allowed.

His attorneys have asked a federal judge to bar any questions about his sexual history. The woman's attorneys say granting the request would be special treatment because Bryant's attorneys have made clear they intend to use the woman's sexual history against her. Her lawyers also said Bryant's sexual history was plainly relevant to the case.

In a court filing made available Wednesday, defense attorneys responded to the woman's arguments by saying that questioning Bryant about his sexual history could reveal personal information about people not involved in the case.

"Sexual conduct involves other persons, who have their own, independent right to keep their sexual conduct from prying eyes," the filing said. "Mr. Bryant's consensual sexual partners -- to whatever extent they exist -- are not parties to this litigation."

The filing also said Bryant's past "consensual sexual relationships" were irrelevant to the woman's lawsuit.

L. Lin Wood, one of the woman's attorneys, did not immediately return an after-hours phone message Wednesday. Bryant was in Denver on Wednesday for a game against the Nuggets.

The lawsuit is pending in federal court in Denver. A trial date has not been set.

It is the policy of The Associated Press not to publish names of alleged sexual assault victims without their consent. The woman has asked that her name not be used.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press