DENVER – In his interview with police the night after he was accused of rape, NBA star Kobe Bryant (search) insisted the sex was consensual, that he stopped when she said "no" and wondered if she would accept money to recant a claim that could damage his reputation.
A transcript of the interview was published Thursday by the Vail Daily, which said it obtained the printout and an audio recording from someone who mailed it anonymously from Denver (search). A source close to the prosecution told The Associated Pressreturned. At Mackey's request, District Judge Richard Hart has issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting public release of records or evidence from the case.
The interview was taped by Eagle County sheriff's investigator Dan Loya as he and fellow investigator Doug Winters talked to Bryant for about 75 minutes in the parking lot of the Lodge & Spa at Cordillera and in his room last summer.
The transcript contains profanity and some graphic descriptions from Bryant, who also admitted he had had frequent similar encounters with another woman named "Michelle," and who could testify that he also held her from behind. Bryant, who had been married for two years and had a 5-month-old daughter, said his wife did not know about the other woman.
He told the investigators he was concerned about damage to his marriage, his career and his image if word of the rape allegation got out.
"Is there any way I can settle this, whatever it is?" Bryant asked.
"Well, what do you mean by settle?" Winters replied.
"If my wife, if my wife found out that anybody made any type of allegations against me she would be infuriated," Bryant said.
At the time, his 19-year-old accuser had already had a hospital examination and had been interviewed by Winters. The felony sexual assault charge that could have landed the Los Angeles Lakers (search) star in jail for life was dismissed at her request earlier this month because she no longer wanted to testify. Her civil lawsuit against Bryant is pending in federal court.
During the interview, Bryant at first denied having sex with the woman. But after investigators said they had physical evidence indicating the two had sex, he told them she initiated it.
"It was totally consensual," he said.
"What makes you believe it was consensual?" Loya asked.
"'Cause she started kissing me, [inaudible] then she bent over and [inaudible]," Bryant said.
Later, Bryant said, "We were still only this close, and she gets up and she gives me a kiss, so I kiss her back, and then, you know, I started caressing her or whatever, and then she puts her hand on my, you know, my thing or whatever, and it kinda goes from there."
Bryant told investigators he was willing to take a lie-detector test. He also denied asking the woman not to tell anyone about their encounter. Winters later testified she told investigators that Bryant made that request.
Bryant said the woman offered to show him a tattoo of musical instruments and notes on her back, and she lowered a strap on her dress so he could see it. After that, he said, she kissed him and he kissed back. They caressed each other and she performed oral sex.
Bryant said he held her by the neck from behind, she lifted her dress and bent over a chair, and they had sex. He said he stopped after she refused to let him do something he requested. The newspaper said it edited the transcript to remove profanity and graphic sexual descriptions; a full copy was not immediately made available to the AP.
During a hearing last fall, Winters said Bryant grabbed the woman by the neck hard enough to leave a small bruise on her jaw, bent her over a chair and pulled down her underwear before sex began.
"It was consensual, there was nothing weird, you know what I mean," Bryant said during the interview.
"Did she say anything to [you] to provoke any of this to happen?" Winters asked.
"She said she wanted to, you know, she hoped that I would [edited] her," Bryant said.
When Loya told Bryant the woman had experienced some bleeding, he said he was surprised because he hadn't noticed any blood. The shirt he was wearing, which he gave to the investigators, was later found to be stained with the woman's blood.
Asked what happened while she was leaving Bryant's room, he told investigators she never cried. She put on her clothes, asked for his autograph and gave him a kiss, he said.
Winters has said the woman cried during the act and said "no" at least twice. He also said Bryant told her to go into his bathroom to clean herself up before she left, and that bellman Bobby Pietrack told investigators she seemed upset and her clothes and hair were disheveled when she left work that night.