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Analysis of Presidential Debate; Panel Discusses Kobe Bryant Hearing

Aired October 9, 2003 - 21:30   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: The Democrats who want to take on President Bush have spoken and we're going to get instant analysis with David Gergen, a veteran of the Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton administrations. And CNN's senior political analyst Bill Schneider.
And then, Kobe Bryant in court today. To hear graphic details of his alleged sexual assault on a 19-year-old woman. We'll have insight into Kobe Bryant himself with his ex-girlfriend Jocelyn Ebron. She dated him for five years.

And with the latest on this case, Court TV's Nancy Grace, the former prosecutor Chris Pixley, Robi Ludwig, clinical psychologist and frequent Court TV commentator. On the scene in Eagle, Colorado, Tony Kovaleski of KMGH TV and Allison Samuels of "Newsweek." She wrote this week's revealing cover story on the Kobe Bryant case. They're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

We begin wrapping up the debate tonight. This was the fourth presidential debate among the Democratic would be candidates and we welcome David Gergen whose in Boston, Bill Schneider here in L.A.

We're on a half hour, but we'll be with you for the full hour tonight of LARRY KING LIVE. Returning to the regular time at 9:00 Eastern tomorrow night.

Quick analysis, Bill, how did this go?

BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It was a good debate. They were all striving to express their differences with President Bush and pressured to express the differences with each other. I thought the most important thing was General Clark took some hits.

Joe Lieberman really went after him on the changes in his views in Iraq and a couple of years ago, he seemed to be praising members of the Bush administration. I thought he sounded a bit defensive and a lot of Democrats kind of look at General Clark and say, is he really one of us?

KING: Did he stick out tonight, David?

DAVID GERGEN, FRM. PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: I thought there was no clear winner, Larry. I do agree they went after General Clark. The remarkable thing was after two debates that General Clark, I don't think, has the luster that one would hope for in this candidate parachuting in at this point of the campaign. He's not standing out. He's sort of part of the pack. That helps Howard Dean and I think Dean emerges from this in the same position as he went in, front runner. John Kerry and Joe Lieberman, first the first time I thought, really came alive in the debate and more effect than they have been. Dick Gephardt continues to be the best debater among the group.

SCHNEIDER: That's right.

KING: You agree with that?

SCHNEIDER: I agree with that. And I think Gephardt did very well, because he was the only one that defended the one thing Democrats really can and should defend if they want to win this election. The Clinton record.

He was part of that era. He talked about how they created so many jobs. There was an economic boom. I can tell you, I look at polls, and a lot of voters saying we want to go back to the Clinton economy. After all of the jobs lost under Bush, Clinton had something going on the economic record. And Gephardt was the one who defended it.

KING: In that sense, David, was the Clinton presidency a personal failure but a political success?

GERGEN: You know in retrospect, Larry, he's looking better and better, especially from an economic policy and of course his indiscretions faded and the Schwarzenegger victory earlier this week is also making them fade some.

So, Bill Clinton, it's interesting. When Al Gore ran away from Bill Clinton in the last campaign, I think hurt himself doing it. These candidates rushing toward him. It's a big, big change in Democratic oratory. It's suggests he's going to be heavily showcased in the Democratic campaigns to come.

KING: Bill, do you agree, Clark is not faring well?

SCHNEIDER: I agree he's not faring as well as people expected. He came in with a lot of luster. He had stature, something that the rest of the field doesn't. I think, in effect, he's been reduced to looking like all the other Democrats, because he was thrown on the defensive and had to explain again and again and again his views, it was a little bit confusing how he felt one way a couple of years ago and changed his mind and praised and defended people like Don Rumsfeld and Colin Powell and people he worked with. And now he's changed his views about them and it was a good line from Joe Lieberman say, General Clark welcome to the Democratic presidential campaign.

KING: Unlike the past when Eisenhower came aboard, David, he had opinions that wafted back and forth, except there was no 24 hour networks. There were no nine candidates running against him. There were no big political debates and a different system, right? So Eisenhower could have weathered a storm Clark may not. GERGEN: Eisenhower won Europe, Clark won Kosovo. There's a difference. And makes a difference on how you come into this. Eisenhower could waltz to the nomination even though it was a tough fight from Senator Taft.

General Clark is being treated as just another candidate right now and he's had some earlier stumbles. But I learned -- let me just say one other thing -- these debates, I think, are helping these candidates among the Democrats. I don't think they're helping them win the country at large.

There's -- they're speaking so metallically. They're so much into their rote partisan attack mode that they don't sound like people who are connecting with other people very well and there's nobody with that sort of conversational quality or the kind of humor of, say, of a Ronald Reagan, who connected so well with people emotionally.

That's a problem for these candidates. They all are into their metallic, rote, attacks and, indeed, on each other.

KING: Bill?

SCHNEIDER: That's exactly right, because every time one of those voters asked a question about why so much hate for the United States, about how difficult it is for someone in small business to make it in this country, I envision, and you know, I had criticisms of Bill Clinton but I envisioned Clinton saying, boy, he could take that question and knock it out of the park.

And they stood there and they didn't really connect with the voters. They gave their speeches and recited their records and gave their campaign lines and I said, why can't you do what Bill Clinton did? Well, very few people can do that.

KING: On either part.

SCHNEIDER: David, you're a veteran political observer. What has made Dean so successful?

GERGEN: It's not his debates, although they've been fair, it's his organization on the ground and the fact that he is, in living rooms, much more effective. And he is, as my friend Mark Shields told me, for many Democrats, he seemed to be the one with real courage when he stood up to the president before Iraq and after the war was over, he seems prophetic. I think that's helped him enormously.

But he also, Larry, I watched the last debate with a group of students at 'Ol Miss and Oxford. And more conservative students, but they really liked Howard Dean. They said, you know, the Democrats really need someone with strength and of course, we thought it would be Wes Clark, but it's Dean who has that inner steel that they like. And they -- they worked to him in ways I didn't expect.

KING: We have a couple of minutes left. Any great lines tonight, Bill? SCHNEIDER: Terrific line from John Kerry, who said, there's only two ways that you can lower your prescription drugs. One is to do what -- to hire Rush Limbaugh's housekeeper. The other, to vote for me for president. That was great. That's the sound bite of this debate.

KING: You say Gephardt in your opinion the best of the nine at debates?

SCHNEIDER: He's the best in the debate because he knows what the Democrats have to run on which is Clinton's record.

KING: If he's the best, David, why doesn't he do better in the polls?

GERGEN: He doesn't have his -- as strong an organization. He doesn't connect at the state level as an organizer. I think that those counting Dick Gephardt out are making a real mistake. He's doing well in Iowa. If he wins Iowa, Dean wins New Hampshire, it's going to be become quickly a Dean-Gephardt race.

And Dick Gephardt in that situation, with a lot of labor support, could be a formidable candidate. I think he is, very much, still in contention at this point. Some people count him out. I think, that's a terrible mistake at this point.

KING: A minute left. Any forecast on who might drop out?

SCHNEIDER: I think right now, they're going to stay in for a while and probably through Iowa and New Hampshire. It's a matter of money, but I think even Dennis Kucinich, Carol Moseley Braun, they're not doing well in the polls, but they don't need a lot of money. They get the attention they need from these debates. It's carrying them along. They're not spending much money.

KING: How's Sharpton doing, David?

GERGEN: I'm glad he's in there. Aren't you? We need some humor in these debates. And it's also terrific to have two African-American candidates. I think it changes the conversation. It made -- draws more people in. It's terrific to have both Sharpton and Braun, although neither one is going anywhere.

KING: Thank you both very much. We'll be calling on you a lot. Bill Schneider and David Gergen. When we come back, the Kobe hearing. And now they're going to have another one. It's going to be continued to next week. So we have lots to talk about. Major day today in Colorado. Don't go away.


KING: Lets meet our panel to discuss the Kobe Bryant matter.

In New York, Nancy Grace, the anchor for "Closing Arguments" on Court TV. The former prosecutor.

In Los Angeles, with us today is Defense Attorney Chris Pixley.

In New York, clinical psychologist Dr. Ludwig.

And in Eagle, Colorado, Tony Kovaleski, investigative reporter of KMGH TV who is in the courtroom today.

And in Los Angeles, Allison Samuels, the national correspondent for "Newsweek" that wrote the cover story this week "Kobe of the Court," and talking with Jocelyn Ebron, one of Kobe's girlfriends.

Nancy what do you make of the -- well I'll ask Nancy, but first let Tony, get us up-to-date.

Tony, why did it end today so abruptly?

TONY KOVALESKI, KMGH-TV: Well, it was one of those hearings, preliminary hearings for the decades, Larry. And why it ended quickly is because there was a lot of contentious behavior on both sides in the courtroom. There was a long meeting with the judge and both sides behind closed doors, finally the judge simply said, I have had enough. My brain cells maxed out and going to bring it back next Wednesday. A surprising move. Last week, he told us it would not last anymore than four hours. Not the case.

KING: Nancy, why do they have the hearing and why did the defense go to a hearing?

NANCY GRACE, COURT TV: Well, that's the source of a lot of legal speculation, Larry. Lot of people expected experts. Expected Paula Mackey to waive the prelim hair hearing. However, the reality is, in most cases, the defense jumps at a chance for preliminary hearing because normally, the states lead with witnesses such as the detective under these circumstances can testify to hearsay. In other words, what the alleged victim told him. They get a chance to cross-examine that with a fine toothed comb. It's kind of a dry run for a jury. So I think that's why Pamela Mackey, went forward.

KING: Were they hurt today, Chris?

CHRIS PIXLEY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I'm balanced, Larry. I think it was probably more damaging to Kobe than it may have been if they simply waived the preliminary hearing and had an arraignment. Left us all to infer that there was strong evidence against Kobe.

KING: Allison, you wrote a major in depth article this week.

Were you surprised by today's events?

ALLISON SAMUELS, "NEWSWEEK": No, I think, you know, most of the people in the media realize for them to go to court, for them to take it as far as they had, that they probably had evidence. They wouldn't do it in this particular case with O.J. and huge cases that have gone on in the last couple of years. I knew to bring this to this point they had to have a really good case.

KING: Were you surprised at the extent of the injuries alleged? SAMUELS: No because I have been hearing for three or four weeks just sort of little details leaking out about how much evidence and her physical condition. So I think some people -- the only thing surprising is the neck. Not having bruises on the neck which have been reported a great deal, but that was the only thing that wasn't there.

KING: Doctor Ludwig, what surprised you today?

DR. ROBI LUDWIG, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: I think hearing the physical evidence about the bruising. Most people were probably willing to give Kobe Bryant the benefit of the doubt. His image was a good one. Nothing in his history suggested he could be capable of this. So, that's certainly on the shocking side. Because up until this point, the woman who was alleging the rape was looking more suspicious than Kobe.

KING: As the detective testified, Tony, like the blood matching on Kobe's shirt. How was Kobe reacting.

KOVALESKI: Kobe, was in the courtroom. He was attentive but he didn't really react Larry, one way or the other. He was very consistent with his emotions. Very little communication between Kobe and his attorneys. But I have to tell you, the move to take it to the preliminary hearing today I believe was tactical and the legal team walked out today saying, they got a victory. They accomplished what they wanted to accomplish in the courtroom.

KING: Which was?

KOVALESKI: They were able to talk about portions, raise questions, at the very end of the hearing, Larry, Pamela Mackey on six different occasions named the alleged victim. Some say that was tactical on her part. A pressure move. Also, during hearing late in the afternoon, they brought into question the genital area, the wounds that happened there, and raised a point with a question that ended the hearing late in the afternoon, Pamela Mackey said, in a question to the detective, did you take into account the fact that the alleged victim had sex with three different men on three straight days?

GRACE: Shocking.

KOVALESKI: That stopped the courtroom.

KING: Nancy, did you say shocking?

GRACE: I sure did. Because that violates what everybody knows is the rape shield law. There's no evidence that this young woman -- the question was, and this is the girl, Larry, that had vaginal bleeding. That the rape nurse said in her written records, this is not consistent with consensual sex. All right, she only bled in the vaginal area. Her blood on the inside of Kobe Bryant's T-shirt. I think we can figure that out. But long story short, what Pamela Mackey said today was, detective, isn't this consistent, more consistent with her having had sex with different guys, three consecutive guys? That violates every tenant of the rape shield law. That's why rape victims don't come forward.

KING: Want to respond, Chris? Would have asked that?

PIXLEY: Well, honestly -- no. No. And I have to agree. I have got to agree with Nancy. It violates the rape shield law. And there isn't any way to back door in that testimony, Larry. So today, if anything with the defense doing with those kind of antics is serving up notice to the accusers. This is not a walk in the park. They want to rattle her. The rattle state, make them worry about how she'll hold up and whether she when it come time for a trial.

KING: Allison, what's your read on Kobe through this?

SAMUELS: He's been pretty much the way he is. We talk about aloof he is and distant he is from people. Throughout this, I think that comes in handy. Because it seems not have had as much of an emotion which is his personality. Definitely.

KING: He, loss a lot of weight?

SAMUELS: He's lost 20 pounds supposedly

KING: Not the best shape.

SAMUELS: Not in the best shape. I mean, obviously, he has to -- I don't think human to take some of this obviously, to heart and wonder what will happen. He is very afraid to go to jail, which I think people in the league are concerned about and particularly the Lakers.

KING: Do you think he'll play this year?

SAMUELS: People would like him not to. The team is a huge distraction for them.

KING: We'll take a break, come back and spend a few seconds with, Jocelyn Ebron, Kobe's first girlfriend who was in the article mentioned before by Allison in the current issue "Newsweek." And then we'll come back with more of our panel. Jocelyn is next. Don't go away


KING: It's a great pleasure to welcome to LARRY KING LIVE from Philadelphia, Jocelyn Ebron. She was Kobe Bryant's high school sweetheart, dated Kobe for about five years, written about prominently in articles, including in a major story in this week's "Newsweek" magazine. And today, of course, was the preliminary hearing, leading to eventually an arraignment and a trial if he is bound over.

What is your reaction, Jocelyn, thus far, to what the detectives have testified to today as to apparently what the girl said happened to her?

JOCELYN EBRON, KOBE BRYANT'S EX-GIRLFRIEND: I really did not see everything that happened in there. I heard bits and pieces of what happened. It's still very shocking, the accusations that they have against Kobe.

KING: In other words, there was nothing in what was accused today that you ever see in him?

EBRON: No, nothing at all.

KING: Let's go back a little. How did you meet Kobe?

EBRON: I met Kobe through his cousin. She arranged for us to meet, at a splash party that was being held.

KING: Did you go to school together?

EBRON: No, we did not.

KING: Because he went to school in Europe, didn't he? Then he went to high school in Philadelphia, right?

EBRON: Yes, that's right.

KING: What happened at the splash party?

EBRON: They arranged for us to meet. We kind of kicked things off, by just being friends, and things blossomed throughout the summer.

KING: Into romance?


KING: How old were you?

EBRON: I was 16.

KING: And he was how old?

EBRON: 17.

KING: Now, you went to a Catholic girls school, right?

EBRON: Yes, I did.

KING: And he went to a regular high school?

EBRON: Yes, in Lower Merion.

KING: That's right, famous high school. Did you go see him play ball?

EBRON: Yes, I did.

KING: He was an incredible high school basketball player, as we all know. He went right to the pros.

EBRON: Right.

KING: All right. When it developed, was it serious?

EBRON: Not from the very beginning, but as time went on, we became very serious.

KING: Did you ever contemplate marriage?

EBRON: Yes, we did.

KING: What happened?

EBRON: Things just didn't work. He would always mention marriage and how we knew each other from the very beginning. I was there throughout his high school career. He knew that I loved him for the person that he was. And he felt very comfortable with sharing the rest of his life with me, as he told me, and also -- he also expressed that to many family members.

KING: What changed his mind?

EBRON: I don't know. I guess exposure to a new life. I was finishing up college, so I couldn't relocate where he was, and plus he was on the road majority of the time, so I guess time apart, I guess that's what happened.

KING: You don't bear him any anger?

EBRON: No, I don't.

KING: I mean, in a sense -- it was not dump -- I mean, he's the one that broke it off, right?


KING: So you would have been happy to get engaged, be married and the like, go on with life with him, not because he was a basketball player?

EBRON: Correct.

KING: And you told "Newsweek" that, "everything sort of focused on him and around him, his two sisters seemed to accept that. He was the only son. He was kind of like king of the family," right?

EBRON: Sort of. Yes. His parents supported his basketball career. His two sisters played volleyball, and they also supported their volleyball -- you know, when they played, they attended their games as much as they attended Kobe's games. But I guess with his father's influence, playing in the NBA, and the move that Kobe wanted to make, I guess they just helped move that along.

KING: Now, Kobe, in an interview he did in 1999, discussing coming to the United States -- Kobe was raised in Italy, where his father played -- he said, "it was tough because I didn't know English really well and I didn't really know the different lingo that black culture had, so I had to learn two languages, the black language and the English language. And kids are tough, you know, you've got to be like them or else."

When you met him, was he pretty fluent in English?

EBRON: Yes, he was. He may not have known the typical hip slang, but we had no problems communicating at all.

KING: Was he very bright?

EBRON: Yes, he was.

KING: I'm told that he was like -- he could have gotten academic scholarships to go to college.

EBRON: Right. He scored very high on his SATs. So if he did decide to go to a college, he could have went and did very well there.

KING: Were you with him, Jocelyn, when he made that decision to go pro?

EBRON: Yes, I was.

KING: What was that like for him? Because he had a lot of college offers, right?

EBRON: Right. He had it in his mind what he wanted to do. I guess as his senior year blossomed and he became very well -- very good during his senior year, he knew what he wanted to do, and he had a very good support system to help him along the way, but it was something to get used to.

KING: Did you go to all the games?

EBRON: Those that I can attend on the East Coast, because I was in college.

KING: What was your relationship with Kobe's parents?

EBRON: We were very close. His parents, you know, had to go through a lot of things with my parents, to make sure, you know, can she come out to L.A., we have a guest room for her, so we were very close. We did things together without Kobe even being present.

KING: I know Kobe's dad, Joe, he is a great guy. Did he put a lot of pressure on Kobe?

EBRON: I don't think so. I don't think that Kobe made any decisions that he didn't want to make. He didn't make any major moves that he wasn't comfortable with. He just had his father and his family to support him with his major decisions.

KING: And did he tell you he never wanted to play in Charlotte?

EBRON: No, he did not.

KING: Because he didn't want to play in Charlotte, and then he went on to of course the Lakers. At the time, did you plan to go to L.A. with him and everything?

EBRON: No, I just planned to visit during spring break, throughout the summer, during Christmas break, but I never planned to just pack up and move to L.A.

KING: We'll have some more moments with Jocelyn Ebron, Kobe Bryant's high school sweetheart, right after these words.


KING: Now, Kobe Bryant -- we're back with Jocelyn Ebron. Kobe Bryant is now a Laker. He's completed one year and he got engaged?

EBRON: Yes, that's correct.

KING: Whoa. Had you been talking to him right up through that?

EBRON: Yes, I was.

KING: What did you do?

EBRON: I cried. I was shocked. I had my friends and family, everyone was very, very shocked. I was upset. I didn't know what was going on but it was clear as day what, you know, the decision that he made.

KING: When was the last time you talked to him?

EBRON: Prior to the engagement?

KING: No, prior to now.

EBRON: Since.

KING: Yes.

EBRON: Prior to the engagement. I haven't heard from him since that was announced, yes.

KING: Did you call him up when you saw the news?

EBRON: This incident or the engagement?

KING: The engagement?

EBRON: Of course I did. I needed some clarity on what was going on but unfortunately he was out of my reach.

KING: But you still hold him no bitterness?

EBRON: No, not at all. People make decisions for various reasons. I would have come forth and laid things on the table to make sure, you know, there weren't any foul feelings but I don't feel any way. I mean it's been so long now. I think if this was right after the incident I may have felt upset and, you know, distraught. But now, so much time has passed. You tend to move on. KING: You follow his career?

EBRON: Have I followed his career?

KING: Yes.

EBRON: Somewhat. It's kind of hard not to.

KING: Sure. Do you have a boyfriend now? Have you gone on with your life?

EBRON: I had a boyfriend. I'm currently single.

KING: OK. The charges when they -- when you first heard the story that Kobe was charged with this what was your first reaction?

EBRON: My mouth dropped open. It was -- it didn't seem like anything that he could do. I was actually on vacation and received a call and we rushed straight to the hotel room to turn on the television. I couldn't believe what I heard so I had to see it. And once, you know, we all sat down and watched it was still very, very shocking.

KING: Was he ever overly physical with you in a hurtful way?

EBRON: No, never. He was never like that.

KING: Would you call him gentle?

EBRON: Yes, I would.

KING: Caring?


KING: Affectionate?

EBRON: Of course.

KING: He's been called a loner. Would you agree with that?

EBRON: Not solely. I don't see anything wrong with someone wanting to be alone sometimes. He thought a lot about the moves that he was making. He knew that a lot of things would change, you know, with his life so I think during the time that we dated he spent enough time alone but I don't think it was anything extreme.

KING: Some of his critics and this has always been innuendo inside the team, have said that he was selfish. Did you ever find him that way?

EBRON: No, I did not.

KING: Not self-centered, not it's all about me?

EBRON: No, no. KING: So, back to the present. Today you are shocked at these allegations.


KING: Now that we hear the physical evidence. That's not the Kobe you knew.

EBRON: No, it is not.

KING: So, either she's lying, something's wrong, or he's changed, right?

EBRON: Right.

KING: What do you think?

EBRON: I'm really not sure. I haven't spoken to him in years so I'm not sure if the person that he has become or I'm not sure of the victim so I can't say either way.

KING: All you can say is that when you knew him he was fine.

EBRON: Right, exactly.

KING: Do you still keep in touch with any members of his family?

EBRON: Yes, I do.

KING: And what do they say to you?

EBRON: They feel total, you know, remorse for his situation. They're fairly upset at the accusations. They support him from afar because, you know, they're from Philly. It's still very overwhelming for his family to see him going through such a horrible ordeal.

KING: A couple of other quick things, Jocelyn. Just as a personal opinion do you think he should play this year?

EBRON: Yes, I do. I think he should try to continue with things until it is necessary for him to stop playing where he has to appear in court or, you know, the next proceedings that has to happen.

KING: It's obviously taking its toll. He's lost some weight.

EBRON: Right.

KING: Jocelyn, thank you very much for spending this time with us.

EBRON: Thank you.

KING: Good luck to you. You're a case worker, huh?

EBRON: I'm a...

KING: Social worker?

EBRON: I'm a clinical case manager for a behavioral health school.

KING: Thank you very much, Jocelyn.

EBRON: Thank you.

KING: Jocelyn Ebron, Kobe Bryant's high school sweetheart, dated him for about five years -- back with more of the panel after this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you scared?

BRYANT: Terrified, terrified, not so much for myself just for what my family's been going through. They had nothing to do with this but just because their names have been dragged in the mud I'm scared for them.



KING: We're back with our panel. We'll include your phone calls, an extraordinary day in the court.

In New York is Nancy Grace, the anchor for "Closing Arguments" on Court TV. In Los Angeles, defense attorney Chris Pixley. In New York is Dr. Robi Ludwig, psychologist. In Eagle, Colorado is the outstanding journalist Tony Kovaleski for KMGH-TV, Denver's Channel 7. He's been covering the case since the beginning.

And, in Los Angeles, the writer Allison Samuels, been a long-time national correspondent for "Newsweek" and she wrote the "Newsweek" cover story "Kobe off the Court" and she has covered Kobe extensively since he's become a professional in the National Football (sic) League.

Dr. Ludwig before we go to calls what did you make listening to -- I said football, basketball. What did you make of Ms. Ebron's thoughts about the Kobe she presented to the Kobe we're looking at now?

LUDWIG: I think that's the Kobe that the public feels that they know. It may be the sanitized version of Kobe but really everything we know about him prior to this case he seems to be a nice, decent, very talented guy.

However, after reading the "Newsweek" article it certainly presents a different aspect of his personality that we wouldn't see as he's being presented as this amazing basketball star. He appears to have an underdeveloped personality and it really is interesting to explore how that would play into the charges that are against him right now legally.

KING: Allison would you agree your story was not helpful?

SAMUELS: I think it was truthful. Whether it was helpful or not I'm not sure but I think it did present, as she said, a lot of people didn't know the real Kobe, didn't really understand that he's had social problems for a very long time.

KING: You quoted one player on the team critical of him without naming the player.


KING: Was that fair?

SAMUELS: Yes, because I think he knows. I think he knows the other players on that team have had problems with him since his first year there. There's no surprise. He hasn't reacted to it but he knows.

KING: Chris, did the defense attorney do things today she could not do in court when the trial begins?

PIXLEY: Well, there's a lot that goes on in the preliminary hearing that won't go on at the trial and we know there's all kinds of evidence that will be admitted that can't possibly be admitted at trial. The rules of evidence are relaxed at a preliminary hearing but, in general, yes. Pamela Mackey did things today in the preliminary hearing that she will not do when she faces the accuser.

KING: You said during the break that in your opinion the defense is up against it here that this is going to be a tough go for them, why?

PIXLEY: This is a terribly difficult case and so much of it came out because of so much -- because of what came out today. The storyline that we were hearing up until a few weeks ago, even with Allison's article, for the prosecution was that this accuser said I got into the room and he changed on me. He became a monster.

That's not a storyline that sells with a jury and Kobe's story had been a lot more palatable. Now today we've heard a story with a sequence of events. There's a lead up. They start kissing. It leads to more than that. She says no and he doesn't abide by that.

KING: Her story is more logical.

PIXLEY: It's more believable and now you've got to prove otherwise.

KING: Nancy, do you think it's a strong prosecution case from just what you've heard?

GRACE: Well, yes I do and what had convinced me at the beginning but I was waiting to find out what was going to happen in court today was something we really haven't touched on and that is the witness I think could be the strongest for the state. That is the bellboy because this person that knew her through a work situation, had not dated her, no relationship with her, when she emerged from Kobe Bryant's hotel room she, according to him, was disheveled. She was upset. She told him her story.

In the law we call that a rape outcry witness and that is an exception to the hearsay rule. He will testify to what she said at court. His response, Larry, is what is so intriguing and powerful.

He immediately said we need to call the police and he was so moved and disturbed by what she said he spontaneously followed her home to make sure she got home OK. Now his reaction I think is very powerful and he doesn't have the baggage she may have.

KING: Tony, how much media coverage there today?

A lot, Larry, just as much as we had on August 6th and probably by about 20 percent more the courtroom was packed, no question and everybody outside during the breaks it was interesting to hear the reactions and it was really 180 degrees, some people feeling the prosecution making a really solid case, can't lose, other people finding holes and saying the defense has accomplished exactly what they wanted to, a lot of different opinion from the media today.

KING: Let's hear some calls, Fort Hood, Texas, hello.

CALLER: Hi. I have a question for Nancy.

KING: Yes.

CALLER: Nancy, I've been following this case, the Kobe case for a while and I watched you today on "Court TV" and something you said bothered me, OK. You said that and I can't say exactly what you said but I think what you said because you said this more than once that because the victim goes to church and that because she goes to school and all this other stuff that you said about her there's no way she could be that type of girl.

GRACE: No, I don't know anything about her churchgoing.

CALLER: Because that's just not. Let me finish. That's definitely not true.

GRACE: I don't know anything about that.

CALLER: Yes, you said it.

GRACE: I'm sorry.

CALLER: You said because she went to church but regardless about that how I feel about this is that this person, I mean she sits here and says, you know, that this -- that he did this to her but first of all she has responsibility for herself. She should have never been at work in his room kissing because I heard everything that happened today and that made me feel that, you know, she maybe had something to do with this herself. GRACE: Really.

KING: Caller would you agree that if she did say no you stop?

CALLER: I do agree with that but also you have responsibility for yourself. That already proved what type of girl she was when she was at work kissing.

KING: OK, will that hurt her Nancy the fact that she went to the room?

GRACE: Yes. As a matter of fact it will hurt her. You've got to get ready for what the defense is going to be. It's going to be consent. I don't know anything about this young lady's church history or her religion or if she's even got one. I've had (unintelligible).

KING: So you never said anything like that?

GRACE: No. I don't know anything about that but I can tell you this much. I had rape victims who were hookers from out in the street, victims that were eight years old up to 70 years old and I don't care who goes to what church or if they do or don't but I can tell you this much. If you kiss a man that does not mean it's OK to end up limping out of a room with vaginal bleeding. That's not OK.

KING: Chris, Colorado is especially in rape cases, right?

PIXLEY: It's one of the worst states in the union to be charged with this crime.

KING: Automatic jail if you're convicted? It is?

PIXLEY: Yes. In fact, Larry, I would say that it's an absolute certainty.

KING: You do time.

PIXLEY: That if Kobe Bryant is convicted he'll do time.

KING: Lancaster, Kentucky, hello.

CALLER: Yes, Larry, thank you for taking my call. Nancy, I love your show. I've been following Kobe Bryant through this and my question is I know that they're going to try to bring up her clinical, emotional instability.

GRACE: Oh, yes.

CALLER: But the thing of it is even if she was emotional, unstable, isn't that rape anyway? Say that maybe she couldn't say no or, you know, in a scenario, do you understand what I'm saying?

GRACE: Yes, ma'am.

CALLER: It's still rape isn't it? GRACE: It certainly is under the law. If she said no and he continued and the fact that she may have been emotionally unstable, I don't know anything about that yet. I do know the defense scored a point by getting some 911 call transcripts from her home so they're going to be counting on a jury to believe, as you have suggested is going to be a defense, emotional instability.

But, you know, I was reading what Allison Samuels had to say in her "Newsweek" article and I find it very interesting. This is a fact, Larry, and I'm interested to see what Chris has to say.

According to Kobe Bryant's own friends his account includes her that night in his room crying hysterically and insisting on leaving except his version is it was because he stopped having sex to put on a condom. Now, I don't know anything about crying hysterically and wanting to leave over a condom but that story doesn't make sense. It's more consistent with her story.

KING: Chris.

PIXLEY: Well, again today's evidence is a problem for Kobe Bryant. The fact of the matter is though that her emotional stability will matter and if, in fact, her ability to tell the truth is affected by some ongoing condition she had, either mental or emotional that will be absolutely important in this case.

LUDWIG: And I would agree with that absolutely because, you know, somebody can really think that they are telling the truth and if they have a certain, let's say, character pathology. Let's say she felt conflicted about sex. She initially agreed to have sex and then she felt guilty about it.

She has the type of problem where she just externalizes, blames, and blurs reality, she could then say, you know what, I don't feel comfortable having sex. It's his fault. He did it. He's to blame and actually feel like she was a victim.

GRACE: Two words, vaginal bleeding. I don't know what you're talking about externalizing and conflicted. I know that the nurse said vaginal bleeding inconsistent with consensual sex.

KING: I see. Montreal, hello.

CALLER: I would like to know -- this question is directed to Allison from "Newsweek."

KING: Yes.

CALLER: How do you think that lawsuit on Kobe Bryant will affect his season and his career in terms of play?

SAMUELS: I think it will certainly have a tremendous impact on him because he's a very strong guy, very focused young man but I don't know how he can stay focused through, you know, 80 games this season having to come back and forth to Colorado, having to talk to lawyers. I can't imagine that he'd be able to do that with the intensity and the focus and the sort of...

KING: Do you think it might be wise, as some suggest, to sit it out?

SAMUELS: I think so. I think it's hard for him to do that though because what does he do then? He sits at home and he focuses on what? I think that probably will drive him a little mad but I think for his teammates it would be better if he stayed home.

KING: Among themselves, Tony, have the press made some judgments based on today?

KOVALESKI: I'm sorry, Larry, one more time?

KING: Among themselves have members of the press made some judgments based on today?

KOVALESKI: Well, I heard a variety of opinions out in the hallway between breaks and, like I said earlier Larry, that some people saying that clearly the evidence that was brought forward by the defense today -- or by the prosecution rather was evidence that should not have been brought forward in a public arena. They should have waived the preliminary hearing. The prosecution made their point.

Other people coming out of the courtroom and saying the defense was calculated. They did what they expected and that's why they came forward because, remember, we're sitting in the courtroom, Larry, hearing all of this evidence, the five minutes of sex, the two hands around her neck and we're saying how could they let this happen? Well, it became clear about an hour later why they allowed it to happen. They wanted to go on the offensive and they did.

KING: Hollywood, California, hello.

CALLER: Hey, Larry, I just wanted to say I'm an all American girl. I'm 5'8" not in any way promiscuous, not in any way into rough sex. I've had vaginal tears and bleeding before and I have a question. I want to know what does the prosecution intend to do to link that to rape because it's not linked in my mind or in any of my friends' minds necessarily to rape and will the defense counter with any doctors that talk about that?

KING: Will they introduce doctors to say that people can have vaginal bleeding in consensual sex?

PIXLEY: Absolutely. Absolutely they're going to do that and that's not going to be the strongest point in the prosecution's case.

KING: It's not the strongest.

PIXLEY: No. If the prosecution can show things like the bruising on the jaw, if they can show other physical evidence that we haven't seen so far that's the kind of thing that would really damn Kobe Bryant. But, you know, what came out today I think Tony's right. There was good and bad for the defense and for the prosecution. Today the defense showed no fingerprints on the throat, no red marks, no scratch marks, no bruising on the throat. Yes, there was a bruise on the jaw somewhere that may have come from anything but where he allegedly manipulated her, Larry, she doesn't have anything.

GRACE: That's not right.

KING: We'll be back with some more moments with our group. I'll have Nancy respond to that when we come back. Don't go away.


BRYANT: I have a job to do. This is my job. I'm coming back to work and, you know, my wife and my family and I we've been dealing with this for a while now and we're going to continue to deal with it. We're going to continue to fight through it and I'm just going to come back to work and do what I do.

I just wanted to spend as much time as I can with my family. When you go through something like this you realize how important your family is, you know, seeing my daughter grow up, you know, being at home and basketball to me is just a distant second to that.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kobe, did you give any consideration to not playing this season?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what -- what -- how did you arrive at a decision to kind of go through with it and just play it out and (unintelligible)?

BRYANT: My wife kind of encouraged me to go back to play.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did that seem to be the best thing for you mentally and emotionally, the best thing for you as a person as well as a basketball player?

BRYANT: I mean basketball to me just took a back seat and it's, you know, what's the point to me is my family, you know, and I wanted to spend as much time as I could with them and basketball will always be there.


KING: Nancy, you wanted to say something quickly in response to what Chris said?


KING: I got to get a couple more calls in.

GRACE: Yes. Chris said that the fact that the detective did not see bruising along her neck suggests, you know, it's not consistent with her story; however, there was bruising on her jaw. That is highly consistent with her story that her immediate outcry that during the rape he kept telling her during the rape he was hovering over her saying promise not to tell.

Don't tell anybody and she was crying. She wouldn't respond and he finally took her by the jaw during the rape and turned her neck back to face him until she said no, I won't tell anybody. That grabbing of the jaw is consistent with a bruise here.

PIXLEY: So Nancy he had his hands on her throat the entire time but at one point he grabbed her jaw. He bruised her jaw but we don't even have fingerprints on the throat. It's that kind of evidence that's going to cause problems for the prosecution. That's the way you're telling the story.

GRACE: You know what according to you everything's a problem. You've got her crying, hysterical, bleeding vaginally, a bruise to the jaw. You can explain it away all you want to, to me it says forcible rape.

PIXLEY: Well, Nancy, you're commingling two stories though. You're commingling Allison's story, which we haven't heard from the defense yet. We don't now if Allison Samuels' story is going to be, in fact, what the defense tells us at the trial with the story that we've heard today in fact from the prosecution.

GRACE: It's her story what she told detectives. She said she was crying and begging.

KING: Let me get a call, Orange County, California, hello.

CALLER: Yes, I have a question and...

KING: All right, quickly.

CALLER: Hello.

KING: Go ahead.

CALLER: Yes, how do they know that she did not inflict that bruise on her jaw herself?

KING: For what purpose?

CALLER: This is -- well because he's Kobe Bryant I mean.

KING: Oh, you mean she wanted to charge him with rape but she hasn't asked for money. What is she gaining from this? How does she benefit from this charge, Chris?

PIXLEY: There's -- you're right.

KING: We don't know (unintelligible).

PIXLEY: She hasn't filed any civil suit. She hasn't made any gesture that we're aware of.

KING: (Unintelligible.)

PIXLEY: No suggestion that there's any extortion, any effort to get money.

KING: Allison, you said an interesting thing that Kobe Bryant doesn't know himself yet, right?


KING: He's still a kid.

SAMUELS: He's very much a kid. I think in the many times that I've spoken to him I think, and I said in the article, growing up in Europe and then coming back over here where there's a defined look or (unintelligible) younger African American man can have. I don't think he fit into that and he's been trying to sort of fit into that mold.

KING: What do you make of the tattoos now?

SAMUELS: I mean, it's surprising, the tattoos and the (unintelligible). I mean he was not, when I first met him he didn't wear diamonds, never jewelry, any of that so I'm not sure what he's going for.

KING: Thank you all very much, lots more to go on this. Again, the hearing continues next week. We thank Nancy Grace, Chris Pixley, Dr. Robi Ludwig, Tony Kovaleski, Allison Samuels, and Jocelyn Ebron.

And, I'll be back momentarily and tell you about tomorrow night. Don't go away.


KING: Our producers are bouncing around a lot of thoughts about tomorrow night's show. The betting is we're going to do Kobe Bryant part two. That's my own feelings. We'll let you know during the day tomorrow and we'll see you again tomorrow night.

But right now it's time to turn it over to my man on the scene. He's in New York and if something's happening he's on top of it. Why? Because he's Aaron Brown, newsman, that's why. I like that.


Bryant Hearing>

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