Lawyers: Kobe's Accuser Reached Settlement with Tabloid Publisher

By: (AP) The woman who accused Kobe Bryant of rape has allegedly reached a financial settlement with the owners of The Globe and other tabloids that printed her picture and stories about her hotel encounter with the NBA star, Bryant's attorneys said yesterday in court documents.

L. Lin Wood, an attorney representing the woman, did not immediately return after-hours phone messages yesterday. Calls to tabloid publisher American Media Inc., based in Boca Raton, Fla., went unanswered last night.

Bryant's lawyers said American Media entered into a written agreement to pay the woman an undisclosed amount of money, according to a filing in the woman's civil lawsuit against Bryant. Bryant's lawyers, who did not disclose how they found out about the settlement, said the woman's attorneys should have told them.

The woman filed a federal lawsuit against Bryant in August, three weeks before prosecutors dropped their criminal case against him.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified money damages from Bryant for the alleged emotional injuries suffered since their encounter at an upscale hotel near Vail in June 2003. The Los Angeles Lakers player said the sex was consensual.

Information about the alleged settlement with American Media came in a court filing supporting Bryant's claim that media organizations, including The Associated Press, and other outside sources were at least partially responsible for the woman's alleged injuries.

The woman has denied the claim, saying Bryant is trying to shift responsibility away from himself.

The Globe printed the woman's full name on its cover at least once and front-page photos of a woman it claimed was Bryant's accuser at least three times. The National Enquirer, another tabloid published by American Media, also used pictures of the woman but blocked out her face.

Bryant's attorneys have scheduled a deposition with American Media representatives Feb. 16, the filing said. The woman's lawyers have accused Bryant of trying to delay the trial by seeking to depose media sources.

It is the policy of The Associated Press not to name alleged sexual assault victims. The woman, who has been identified in court documents, has asked that her name not be used.


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