Kobe Bryant’s accuser must make her name public to pursue her lawsuit against the basketball star, a federal judge ruled yesterday, says the Denver Post. Because it is in the public interest to hold open court proceedings and the woman’s name already has been widely circulated, there would be little benefit in withholding it, wrote Senior U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch. “This young girl is prepared to go forward against Kobe Bryant knowing she will be identified,” said her attorney, Lin Wood. “She looks forward to having her day in court and publicly saying what Kobe Bryant did to her.” The woman remains concerned about her safety because of death threats she has received, said John Clune, another of her lawyers.
During the now-dismissed criminal case against Bryant, her name was mistakenly released on a court Web site. Her identity has been published on other sites. “Under these circumstances, the granting of the motion (to remain anonymous) will have little practical effect and is outweighed by the public interest in open court proceedings,” Matsch said. The ruling was expected, said David Lane, a Denver lawyer. “When you are the instigator in a civil suit, you have a real uphill battle in trying to convince a court that you should remain anonymous,” he said. “There are no statutes that protect her. No rules that protect her. At this point, she’s just another plaintiff seeking money.”