This is a partial transcript from The O'Reilly Factor, February 2, 2004.
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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Unresolved Problems" segment tonight, basketball star Kobe Bryant (search) fighting for his reputation and freedom, supposed to be in court today but he was too ill to attend. His trial on sexual assault charges is supposed to begin in the spring.
With us now, the author of a brand-new book called "Kobe Bryant: the Game of his Life," Jeffrey Scott Shapiro. All right, you're investigating this case, right?
JEFFREY SCOTT SHAPIRO, "THE GAME OF HIS LIFE": Yes, sir.
O'REILLY: All right, I don't want to try it on television. I think that's brutally unfair, but there are a couple of things that I'm curious about. You say in your book that the accuser, the young woman, is being treated unfairly. Why do you say that?
SHAPIRO: I feel that she's been treated unfairly by the American public in the press. I've never seen anyone receive so many threats, death threats, intimidation, and see so many stories that have come out of the tabloid press that have been intentionally trying to destroy her reputation and profit off her misery.
O'REILLY: Well, what if she is indeed setting this guy up, though. Is there a possibility that she may be a villainess in all of this?
SHAPIRO: I think that anything like that should be thoroughly investigated by journalists who are really taking the time to look into her background, and, so far, the only people who have really investigated her background are Kobe Bryant's investigators.
O'REILLY: Have you?
SHAPIRO: Yes, I have.
O'REILLY: All right. Do you feel that she is telling the truth?
SHAPIRO: Based on my sources and everything I know about this investigation, it appears that she seems to be a very honest person, she doesn't seem to have a personal motivation, and she definitely doesn't want any kind of individual attention for this.
O'REILLY: OK. Now one of the keys in the case is a tape-recording made of the initial interrogation of Kobe Bryant by the detectives in Eagle County (search), correct?
SHAPIRO: Yes, sir.
O'REILLY: All right. Now they say -- Bryant's attorneys -- he wasn't "mirandized," and the tape can't be admissible. All right. Do you believe the tape's going to get in?
SHAPIRO: I do. I don't think that Mr. Bryant was officially placed under arrest at that time. I believe that he had allowed these detectives into his room to conduct this interview. It was a consensual interview, and legally under the law and under the Constitution, my estimation is it will be admissible.
O'REILLY: OK. Because he wasn't charged.
Now it was a hidden tape-recorder, right? He didn't know he was being recorded?
SHAPIRO: That's under dispute right now. I have sources close to the prosecution who say that he knew it was being recorded, and then there are sources that are associated with the defense that say that that is not the case.
O'REILLY: What is the law in Colorado? Can you furtively tape someone?
SHAPIRO: Absolutely. It's a one-party state. You only need to be a party to the conversation.
O'REILLY: One-party state. OK. So it looks like it doesn't really matter whether he knew it or not, if that's the law in Colorado.
You went on the road and visited the hotels where the Los Angeles Lakers go when they play other teams, correct?
SHAPIRO: Yes, sir.
O'REILLY: All right. And you were looking for young women who may have come into contact with Bryant?
O'REILLY: What did you find out?
SHAPIRO: I stayed in a Portland, Oregon, hotel for several days where I found out that there was a young room service employee who Mr. Bryant had developed a friendly relationship with over a period of about five years when he stayed there to play the Portland Trailblazers.
And, one night, he called down to her, last year in April, and asked her to come up to the room, and, when he she did, he invited her to sit on the sofa. He began trying to kiss her, and she had to tell him essentially no or to back off three times when she finally ran toward the door to escape.
O'REILLY: All right. So the same modus operandi that the accuser in Colorado says happened, right?
SHAPIRO: It appears so.
O'REILLY: OK. Now does the prosecution know about this, this woman? Is she going to be visible at the trial?
SHAPIRO: The prosecution does know about her. They have tried talking to her, but she does not want to get involved in this case. There are...
SHAPIRO: ... two other women who...
O'REILLY: Well, they could subpoena her.
SHAPIRO: They could, but, without knowing more about her story or what she'll say on the stand, they don't want to do that. They're worried that there's a possibility she may retaliate by simply not telling the story as it occurred.
O'REILLY: That's perjury.
SHAPIRO: It is perjury.
O'REILLY: You know, they could subpoena you and say, look, she told me the story and all of that. It seems to me that, if this woman was telling the truth, they could compel her to testify honestly, no?
SHAPIRO: They could certainly do that.
O'REILLY: All right, because I mean, if you're going to establish a pattern of behavior, this -- your case is much stronger because it's primarily a he-said/she-said case right now, right?
SHAPIRO: Yes, sir.
O'REILLY: How do you think it's going to come out?
SHAPIRO: I think that the prosecution has some evidence on the tape-recording that is pretty damning, and I think that it will be difficult for Mr. Bryant's lawyers to try and get an acquittal in this case.
O'REILLY: All right. and the most damning part on the tape is that when asked if she said no, he did what?
SHAPIRO: He said nothing for about 30 seconds of silence until a detective finally said you're not saying anything, and Mr. Bryant's response was I'm thinking. Then finally...
O'REILLY: Then he said...
SHAPIRO: Then finally, his response was more of a legal technical term. It wasn't really a denial. He simply said it was consensual.
O'REILLY: All right. OK. Well, we'll see how it comes out, Mr. Shapiro. Thanks. Very interesting book. And we appreciate you coming in.
SHAPIRO: Thank you.
O'REILLY: All right.
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