Accuser's Lawyers to Grill Kobe for First Time

Lawyers for the woman accusing Kobe Bryant (search) of rape will get their first chance to question him under oath when they meet the basketball star Friday in Los Angeles.

Bryant will be questioned during a seven-hour session, the woman's attorneys, L. Lin Wood and John Clune, said Wednesday. Bryant spoke with sheriff's deputies the night after the June 2003 incident, but Friday's deposition will be the first time since the 20-year-old woman accused Bryant of attacking her that he will be under oath.

"Federal rules allow me to ask any question relevant to the claims or defenses in the case," Wood said.

The woman sued the Los Angeles Lakers (search) guard in Denver federal court last summer, three weeks before the criminal case against him in Eagle County collapsed when she decided she could not take part in a trial. The federal lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for mental injuries, humiliation and public scorn the former hotel worker said she has suffered since the incident at a Vail-area resort.

Bryant, a married father of one, issued an apology but insisted the sex was consensual.

Judge Richard Matsch rejected a request by Bryant's lawyers to limit what the woman's attorneys will be able to ask during the deposition. The questioning was initially scheduled for December, but Bryant's attorneys refused to allow questions about his sexual history, claiming they could violate the privacy rights of people not involved in the lawsuit.

Matsch said he would deal with any objections by Bryant's lawyers after the deposition.

Wood said there will be a second round of questioning later to ask Bryant about his finances.

The trial could begin as early as this summer.

Bryant is expected to be in the lineup for the Lakers' home game Friday night against the Detroit Pistons (search).