Bryant case shows Internet's ugly side What others say

Posted: Monday, August 04, 2003

As this corner has noted, the reputations of both Los Angeles Lakers basketball star Kobe Bryant and that of the 19-year-old Colorado woman he allegedly sexually assaulted in June are destined to suffer further as the media search relentlessly for new angles to the story.

On July 23, the inevitable happened. One major news outlet a Los Angeles radio station broke the media's courtesy policy of not releasing the name of the alleged victim. The name was also listed on a few Internet gossip sites.

But there is another victim, and no one can hold Kobe Bryant responsible for what she suffered.

A second young woman from Eagle, who happens to share the same first name as Bryant's alleged victim, who looks similar to the other woman and was on a high-school dance squad, has had pictures of her posted on a number of Web sites.

What's more, some of those sites are clearly located on the darker side of the Internet's anything-goes information jungle superimposing the head of the young woman on a photo of another female's nude body, referring to her as a ''whore'' and worse. ...

But it is an unfortunate reflection on the eagerness with which people embrace scandal and salacious gossip, that a young woman not at all associated with the Bryant case had her picture spread across the Internet and her reputation tarnished, simply because she bore a physical resemblance and shared a name with Bryant's alleged victim.

The Daily Sentinel (Grand Junction, Colo., July 25

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