Kobe Bryant’s accuser sued him yesterday in U.S. District Court in Denver. The case was filed shortly after one of her lawyers said she can’t receive a fair hearing at Bryant’s criminal trial starting this month, says the Denver Post John Clune and Lin Wood, the lawyers for the accuser, assert that Bryant has a “history” of attempting to commit acts of violent sexual assault on women he has just met. It did not give any examples. The suit seeks damages in excess of $75,000. Her lawyers said that they will amend the lawsuit later to seek punitive damages to punish Bryant for allegedly raping their client and to deter him “from repeating his criminal conduct.”
Legal observers said the new case’s timing was odd and will open the woman to vigorous cross-examination if the criminal case proceeds. Jury selection is scheduled to start Aug. 27. Defense attorneys are likely to cite the civil filing and claim the woman made up her rape allegation to obtain money from a highly paid professional basketball player. Bryant has signed a seven-year contract worth $136.4 million with the Los Angeles Lakers.