- The Washington Times - Friday, August 13, 2004

Now we know the deal between Kobe Bryant and his accuser in Colorado.

She no longer is interested in a trial, if she ever was. She is more interested in resolving her quality-of-life issues.

She wants a couple of dollars to go away, just a couple of dollars to feel better about who she is.

She claims to be a victim of rape, a violation of the worst kind, but now a couple of dollars could wash away the crime.

Then she can go on a shopping spree, and Bryant can warm up his right elbow in preparation of taking 35 shots a game for the Lakers next season.

It always was about Bryant’s money, wasn’t it? It always was about his fame, starting with the Eagle County prosecutors who recognized the career-making potential of the flimsy case.

It was a case based on the shaky word of a 19-year-old woman with a drama-filled past. It was a case that appealed to our biases of professional athletes being oversexed creatures accustomed to spreading their seeds of joy with women and littering the nation with fatherless children.

And maybe Bryant is looking to graduate to the level of Shawn Kemp one of these years. But that was not the situation in Colorado. The usual suspects have not tumbled onto the airwaves to say they have slept with Bryant. His was a spur-of-the-moment fling, an indiscretion that no doubt resulted in one furious wife. Otherwise, most of the mess was a B-movie cliche.

A woman goes to the hotel room of a strange man looking to discuss the life and times of Leo Tolstoy, and before you know it, they are speaking Russian in the nude. Or reading the Bible in the nude. It is absurd.

Rule No.1, America: Nothing good ever comes out of a hotel room between two strangers in the night.

Raise your hand if you have had a friend seeking love in the wrong place of a hotel room. It always turns out ugly.

Amber Frey ended up in a hotel room on her first date with Scott Peterson. Now they are in a courtroom discussing Peterson’s abilities as a Romeo.

He told Frey at one point that he was reading a famous book by “Jack Cadillac.” He meant Jack Kerouac. His stuff is too good to be made up, and it all starts because of the absence of a genuine framework and previous reference points. You just have the fantasy of two strangers in a hotel room.

Just guessing, but Bryant’s accuser probably owes him an apology. He is the one who has been dragged through the mud because of this. He is the one who felt compelled to hold a press conference to say he committed adultery. He is the one who always has a camera trained on him.

His accuser, meanwhile, has been allowed to lurk in the shadows for the most part. We receive tasteful leg shots of her. Aren’t we in the news media so respectful?

It has been steeped in folly from the get-go, the best darn reality show, period.

It could have used a cinematic outburst from Al Pacino.

Eagle County is out of order. The judge is out of order. The system is out of order. They’re all out of order.

At least Bryant’s accuser finally has pulled out her tin cup, which was destined to be her follow-up move. Forget the trial. Forget how the tin cup looks.

As all the pseudo-experts have pointed out, the poor thing has been traumatized, repeatedly victimized, and now she needs an army of psychotherapists to feel whole again.

Oh, shut up. Give us a break.

It is very simple. She wants her slice of Bryant’s ample pie.

It never was about justice or finding the truth. It was all about the seductive combination of wealth and fame, and in the end, everyone wanted a piece of that, the news media included.

Bryant should not agree to cut a deal with the woman, no matter how appealing. He has paid enough on that end already.


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