Kobe Rebounds

The troubled rape case of the tarnished hoop star ends not in a verdict but with his apology to his accuser

From the beginning, Eagle County, Colo., district attorney Mark Hurlbert insisted that the sexual-assault charge he filed against Kobe Bryant had nothing to do with the celebrity of the Los Angeles Lakers' star. But from the beginning, legal experts wondered whether a Rocky Mountain lawman would have filed such a case had the defendant been anything other than Hollywood-famous.

The case collapsed last week after Bryant's accuser, the target of death threats and harassment since she was accidentally outed by the court, declined to testify against him. And in what seemed to be a programmed pas de deux toward settling the...

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