- The Washington Times - Friday, September 3, 2004

Mark Hurlbert expressed his unyielding belief in Kobe Bryant’s accuser one last time after dropping the sexual assault charge against the NBA All-Star.

Oh, spare us. Take your self-serving spiel elsewhere. Leave the maudlin violin music out of it.

This so-called victim wasted a lot of people’s time and a lot of taxpayer money with her dubious claim against Bryant.

Let’s not cry for her. Let’s cry for the Colorado taxpayers who paid for the incompetence in Eagle County. Let’s cry for the genuine victims of rape who might be inclined to stay quiet after following the Rocky Mountain circus. Let’s cry for those wrongly accused men who lack Bryant’s resources to defend themselves.

Don’t tell America how the woman has been victimized by the system.

She played the system, is what she did. She played Bryant as well.

This is not to suggest Bryant is an altar boy. He is a self-admitted adulterer who bought his wife a $4million rock as penance. He is hardly clean in this sordid affair. He thought he could have a fling with this emotionally unstable, sexually adventurous tart in Colorado, and it blew up in his Nike-perfect face.

But being an adulterer is a Grand Canyon-size leap from being a rapist. Adulterers end up in divorce court. They do not end up having to hire a big-time law firm because of the scurrilous charge of a woman who is lugging around an unsettling percentage of the male population’s DNA in her panties.

Talk about a rush to judgment, starting with the Keystone Kops of Eagle County who were incredibly eager to take the word of the white woman over the black celebrity.

So Bryant initially lied to police about the affair. News flash: That is what most men do if confronted with their amorous activities outside a marriage.

The prosecutors compounded the initial missteps of the police, either by not doing their investigative homework or ignoring it.

This woman is said to attempt suicide every other week, is fond of pills and sleeps around as sport.

This is your star witness in a he-said, she-said case?

This is the person on whose shoulders you are planning to hang a national case?

It was never a case. It was never about seeking justice.

It was about the dollar bill in the accuser’s case. It was about small-town prosecutors looking to make a career move. And perhaps, on some level, it was about race — the cliche of the poor, helpless white woman being victimized by the powerful black man. Who knows what lurks in people’s hearts sometimes?

This is what you do know, and what so few want to discuss: You have a woman who beds down this or that guy in the county. Yet in the mega-watt presence of Bryant, she suddenly became virginal. Not only that, but Bryant, who probably could land a good percentage of the female population with a wink, became Mr. Hyde.

To believe the prosecution’s case, you had to believe in the theory of the sudden virgin and Mr. Hyde.

Bryant is a mixed bag of things: an adulterer, a team-killing ball hog who blew up the Lakers, the most gifted player in the NBA and perhaps even a sexist boor around women.

None of that lends sustenance to the woman’s contention.

Forget his apology to the woman, too. That was his playing of the get-out-of-this-nightmare card. Who wouldn’t be scrambling to write a series of halfhearted words after being put through this highly public ordeal the last 14 months?

All too many observers expressed dismay with the courthouse that inadvertently released the woman’s name and medical history, which was fair enough.

But in terms of being scrutinized to an ad nauseam level, it was no contest. Bryant took a beating. Given the unsatisfying outcome, he merits an apology from the woman and the bozos of Eagle County, which won’t ever happen.

Instead, with a civil suit pending, Bryant will wind up giving the woman the shopping-spree money she so desperately wants, if only to be truly free of the mess and to assure her silence.

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