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Bryant Evidence to Be Released

September 30, 2004|Steve Henson | Times Staff Writer

A deluge of documents pertaining to the Kobe Bryant sexual assault case will pour out of the Eagle County (Colo.) Justice Center in coming days, the result of a ruling Wednesday by Judge Richard Hart to allow a restraining order to expire.

The order had kept sealed documents that include the arrest report and evidence collected by both sides. But Bryant's attorneys lifted their objection to the material's release.

A spokeswoman for the sheriff's department said about 500 pages of documents could be ready for release as soon as Friday. Material from the district attorney's office probably won't be released before Monday.

Dist. Atty. Mark Hurlbert and Bryant attorney Pamela Mackey exchanged testy letters last week, with each side accusing the other of trying to use the impending release of evidence to sway public opinion.

Still pending is Mackey's request for an investigation to determine who leaked a recording and transcript of Bryant's interview with investigators.

The Times reported Wednesday that an investigator wrote in a report that Bryant said Shaquille O'Neal had paid women up to $1 million "not to say anything" after sexual encounters.

O'Neal responded Wednesday, telling ESPN, "This whole situation is ridiculous. I never hang out with Kobe, I never hung around him. In the seven or eight years we were together, we were never together. So how this guy can think he knows anything about me or my business is funny."

O'Neal, now with the Miami Heat, also made an apparent reference to a report that Bryant bought his wife, Vanessa, a ring worth $4 million after his arrest.

"And one last thing," O'Neal said, "I'm not the one buying love. He's the one buying love."

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