A self-proclaimed Russian mobster, who goes by the name of “Vladimir,” made a chilling offer to Kobe Bryant in an interview with CNN. Vladimir offered $3 million for the Lakers forward’s alleged rape accuser to be killed and her body disposed of.
At this point, Kobe Bryant’s rape allegation in Colorado feels like a distant memory. The criminal case after he was arrested by the Eagle Police Department in Colorado and charged with felony sexual assault was dropped after the woman refused to testify in September 2004. The Los Angeles Lakers legend maintained that his sexual encounter with a then-19-year-old hotel employee in July 2003 was consensual, and the criminal case after he was arrested by the Eagle Police Department in Colorado and charged with felony sexual assault was dropped after the woman refused to testify in September 2004.
Nearly 20 years later, we believed we knew all there was to know about the tale, but that was obviously not the case.
In a startling new development, the FBI has released an investigation report revealing that a Swiss bodybuilder and self-described Russian gangster offered to kill Bryant’s accuser and make his issue “go away” for $3 million.
The rape lawsuit against Kobe Bryant was settled in 2003.
Kobe Bryant exits the Eagle County Justice Center courtroom | Ed Andrieski/-POOL Getty Images
Bryant had already established himself as a rising star in the NBA by 2003. Over his first seven seasons in the league, he was selected to five All-Star Games and helped the Lakers win three titles before he was 24.
Bryant went to The Lodge & Spa at Cordillera in Edwards, Colorado, on June 30, 2003, to prepare for knee surgery. Before taking him to his room, a 19-year-old female employee gave him a tour of the hotel. The lady soon claimed Bryant had raped her.
Bryant, then 24 years old, was arrested and charged with one count of criminal sexual assault in July. He disputed the allegations and said the sexual contact was consensual, and the criminal case was abandoned in September 2004 when the lady declined to testify.
He issued a statement via his counsel on the same day the criminal case was dropped, in which he apologized for his actions on the night in question and stated he understood “how she feels that she did not agree to this interaction.”
Bryant and his accuser reached an out-of-court settlement in March 2005 in the civil lawsuit filed in August 2004, putting the matter to rest for the time being.
Kobe Bryant turned down a $3 million offer from a Russian gangster to assassinate his rape accuser.
Bryant’s criminal case seemed to be pretty straightforward since it culminated in a civil action and an out-of-court settlement, but the public has been missing a key piece of the jigsaw for almost two decades.
A 17-page FBI investigation report from 2003 was recently released, detailing a botched hoax in which a Swiss bodybuilder promised to kill Bryant’s rape accuser in return for $3 million. According to the Orange County Register, a guy called Patrick Graber sent a FedEx letter with the $3 million offer to Bryant’s house, which was promptly handed over to local police.
Graber, who claimed to have connections to the Russian mafia, subsequently revealed his scheme to undercover police and was apprehended in September 2003 while trying to collect the first $1 million payment.
Graber pled no guilty to grand theft in 2004 after prosecutors dropped his allegation of solicitation to commit murder. He was sentenced to three years in prison. After serving his term, he was deported back to Switzerland.
Patrick Graber went on to write a book on the assassination-for-hire scheme.
Graber really authored and released a book called Dead Women Tell No Tales: Who Planned the Murder of the Witness in the Kobe Bryant Rape Case in 2007. The strange, typo-filled description on its Amazon website just adds to the unsettling tale.
The description says, “A new best-selling exposé provides the first-hand story of Kobe Bryant’s very personal-and very sick-lifestyle before the notorious rape trail-as well as intriguing insight into the life of a star bodyguard.” “… Bryant’s former security and Swiss national Lt. Patrick Graber is sending shockwaves across the sports world with his latest startling and extremely brutal exposé. Graber’s unvarnished account of his time with Bryant, first as a descreet bodyguard, then as the fall man accused – then exonerated – of plotting the murder of a witness in Braynt’s rape case, Dead Women Tell No Tales.”
Graber’s allegation that he used to be Bryant’s bodyguard has never been proven. Graber isn’t going to stop talking about these startling new facts of Bryant’s notorious criminal case.
Tony Finau, a Kobe Bryant devotee, wins the most important PGA Tour event of his career on the Black Mamba’s birthday.