After she refiled her damage suit against Kobe Bryant using her own name, the Rocky Mountain News decided to name plaintiff Katelyn Faber in its story about the case. Lawyers for the 21-year-old woman had asked U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch to let her remain anonymous, citing death threats after her claim that she was sexually assaulted by the Los Angeles Lakers star. Matsch, after Bryant’s attorneys and the Rocky Mountain News objected, ruled that public confidence depends on courts being as open as possible and that the two parties in the suit have to proceed on an equal footing.
Said Rocky Mountain News Editor John Temple: “Until now, the News has exercised its editorial judgment and has not named Bryant’s accuser despite the fact that her name was widely known. But today we are naming her, after she made the decision Thursday to refile her lawsuit in her own name seeking money damages against Bryant. She had the choice not to go forward after Judge Matsch said she couldn’t proceed anonymously. As a general rule, the News names plaintiffs in civil lawsuits. Here, both sides’ personal integrity and credibility are at issue and the News believes fairness requires that both parties be named in reporting on this civil lawsuit.” The Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault is disappointed that Faber was not allowed to sue Bryant under the ‘Jane Doe’ name. Said spokeswoman Cynthia Stone: “We believe that it should be a victim’s choice as to whether or not they make their name public.”