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Thursday, January 27, 2005
Documents reveal agreement with American Media

Associated Press

DENVER -- The woman accusing Kobe Bryant of rape reached a money 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 Thursday.

The tabloid publisher American Media Inc. agreed to pay the woman an undisclosed sum, according to court documents filed by the defense in the woman's civil lawsuit against Bryant.

Bryant's lawyers, who did not disclose how they found out about the alleged settlement, said the woman's attorneys should have notified them.

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

The woman sued Bryant in August, three weeks before prosecutors dropped their criminal case against him.

The suit seeks unspecified money damages from Bryant for alleged emotional injuries the woman has 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 partly 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.

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.