Friend: Kobe Denial Made Accuser 'Sick'

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Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (search)'s denial in a Friday news conference of the sexual assault charge filed against him made the woman who accused him "sick to her stomach," one of the accuser's friends said Monday.

Bryant, a five-time NBA All-Star, has been charged with one count of felony sexual assault. After the charge was announced Friday, Bryant, sitting beside wife Vanessa (search), firmly denied engaging in a non-consensual act.

"I sit here in front of you guys, furious at myself, disgusted at myself for making the mistake of adultery," he said.

"When she saw Kobe speak, she was really disgusted," Rachel Yandle, the accuser's friend, told NBC's Today show in a Monday interview.

"It just made her sick to her stomach, and she couldn't believe he had the nerve to cry and just go by, holding his wife's hand," she said.

Yandle also insinuated that Bryant, 24, had altered his story somewhat by the end of last week.

"At first he did nothing," she said. "He was making it sound like nothing happened. And now he is just saying it was consensual."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson (search) said Monday he was "saddened" by the sexual assault charge filed against Bryant, who he said has his full support.

Jackson has coached Bryant for the last four seasons with the Lakers. They won three consecutive NBA championships during that stretch.

"He has consistently demonstrated responsible behavior to me both on and off the basketball court," Jackson said in a statement issued Monday through his Chicago attorney Todd Musburger.

"I was saddened by the allegations against Kobe. Obviously, there are some difficult days ahead for the Bryant family. As his coach and mentor, he has my full support," he said.

Bryant's 19-year-old accuser alleges he assaulted her at an exclusive spa where he was staying when he came to Colorado for knee surgery. The case has already drawn widespread coverage, with one Web site purporting to show photographs of the woman.

If convicted, he faces four years to life in prison or 20 years to life on probation, and a fine of up to $750,000.

"Kobe is entitled to the presumption of innocence, a hallmark of our legal system, and judgment must occur within the Colorado courtrooms," Jackson said.

Bryant's lawyer, Pamela Mackey, said he will plead not guilty.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.