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Walt Disney Heiress Comes Out with Scathing Kobe Rebuke: He 'Was a Rapist. Deal with It'

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In spite of all the tributes honoring Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant following his death, Walt Disney Company heiress and documentary filmmaker Abigail Disney suggested the allegation of rape against Bryant should not be forgotten in the accounts of his legacy.

Three days after Bryant died in a helicopter accident, Disney tweeted that she could no longer remain silent about the issue.

“I haven’t said anything about Kobe so far because I felt some time needed to pass before weighing in. But yes, it’s time for the sledgehammer to come out,” Disney tweeted Jan. 29. “The man was a rapist. Deal with it.”

Disney attached a link to a Washington Post Op-Ed by columnist David Von Drehle, who argued media outlets should not ignore the more controversial aspects Bryant’s life — no matter how uncomfortable they might be to consider.

Bryant had been arrested and charged with sexual assault and false imprisonment in 2003; however, the 19-year-old woman who accused him later declined to testify, the New York Post reported.

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According to the Independent, DNA evidence provided by the accuser failed to prove Bryant’s guilt, and prosecutors eventually dropped the charges.

Do you think it was wrong to talk about Bryant's rape case right after his death?

Bryant issued a formal apology to the woman through his lawyer, saying that though he thought their sexual encounter was consensual, he was sorry for any pain he had caused. A civil suit regarding the matter was settled in 2005.

Disney appeared to agree with Von Drehle’s sentiment that the allegation against Bryant should not be ignored, even in light of his tragic death.

Many on Twitter felt that Disney’s comments were unjust:

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Others expressed support for Disney’s statement:

In his Op-Ed, Von Drehle defended his colleague Felicia Sonmez, who was temporarily suspended by The Post after tweeting a link to a Daily Beast article outlining the rape accusation against Bryant shortly after his death.

Sonmez was not the only reporter keen on reminding the public of Bryant’s alleged misconduct.

A CNN reporter also faced backlash for bringing up the rape allegation on the same day that Bryant died:

Reporter Nathan McDermott linked to the same Daily Beast article as Sonmez.

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Skye Malmberg started out as an editorial intern for The Western Journal in 2019 and has since become a Staff Writer. Ever since she was 10 years old, she has had a passion for writing stories and reporting local news. Skye is currently completing her bachelors degree in Communications.
Skye Malmberg started out as an editorial intern for The Western Journal in 2019 and has since become a Staff Writer. Ever since she was 10 years old, she has had a passion for writing stories and reporting local news. Skye is currently completing her bachelors degree in Communications.




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