Kobe Bryant's Oscar Nomination Clouded by Past Sexual Assault Allegation
In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein fallout and #MeToo movement, discussions of that case have resurfaced.
Kobe Bryant on Tuesday was nominated for an Oscar for Dear Basketball, the short film based on his retirement letter from the NBA.
The former Laker superstar became a household name for his 20 years of dominant play on the court, during which he won five NBA championships.
Bryant also made headlines in July 2003 when he was arrested in Eagle, Colorado, on charges of sexual assault. In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein fallout and #MeToo and Time's Up movements, discussions of that case have resurfaced; some noting James Franco, who was recently accused of sexual harassment by multiple women, was subsequently snubbed for a best actor nomination.
At that time, a 19-year-old hotel employee accused Bryant of rape, telling authorities she was assaulted by the former player while he was staying at The Lodge and Spa at Cordillera awaiting surgery.
Bryant publicly admitted he and the accuser did have relations, but he claimed it was completely consensual. He also made a public apology to his wife.
The criminal case was dropped after Bryant's accuser refused to testify, but a civil suit was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum. Part of the suit involved Bryant's apology, although he never admitted fault.