The Year: 2003
Kobe Bryant’s 2003 arrest for sexual assault shocked NBA fans everywhere. One of the most beloved players in the NBA it was a public relations nightmare for him and fans everywhere that this would happen to player like Kobe.
A woman accused the LA Lakers star of raping her in his room. Bryant, who was married, said they had consensual sex.
Kobe Bryant would spend the season flying to Denver for court and then playing basketball the same night making the basketball court his sanctuary and his escape from negative media attention hounding Kobe Bryant.
Later the case was dropped when the alleged victim refused to testify. The two sides later settled out of court, with Bryant offering an apology.
Kobe Bryant went on to fix his public image and is now one of the most beloved and celebrated players post retirement. Some players might not have ever been able to recover from this but Kobe Bryant did.
“I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did. After months of reviewing discovery, listening to her attorney, and even her testimony in person, I now understand how she feels that she did not consent to this encounter. ” -Kobe Bryant