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Tuesday, February 8, 2005
Defense alleges settlement from tabloid

Associated Press

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Tabloid publisher American Media Inc. has asked a federal judge to throw out a subpoena demanding it turn over documents and testify in the civil lawsuit filed by the woman accusing NBA star Kobe Bryant of rape.

The publisher of The Globe and other tabloids has printed the woman's picture and stories about her 2003 hotel encounter with the Los Angeles Lakers star. Bryant's attorneys said last month American Media had reached a settlement with her, but the company hasn't confirmed that and no details have been disclosed.

Attorneys for the woman, Bryant and America Media did not return messages left Tuesday.

The woman sued Bryant in August, three weeks before the criminal case against him collapsed when she decided she could not take part in a trial. Bryant, a married father of one, issued an apology but insisted the sex was consensual.

The civil suit in Colorado federal court seeks unspecified damages for mental injuries, humiliation and public scorn the former hotel worker said she has suffered since their encounter in June 2003 at a resort near Vail, Colo.

American Media was served with the subpoena Jan. 10 from Bryant's lawyers seeking testimony and documents regarding to any communication between the company and the woman, the publisher's attorney said in a motion filed Monday in U.S. District Court in West Palm Beach.

The filing said Bryant failed to show "substantial need" for the information or that it was relevant to the woman's lawsuit.

The filing said that American Media had agreed to let Bryant's lawyers take a deposition from a representative for the Boca Raton-based company. But his lawyers broke that agreement, which would have protected any confidential information, the filing said.