Skip to main content
CNN EditionU.S.
The Web     
Powered by
powered by Yahoo!

Bryant speaks out against charges

Story Tools

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Kobe Bryant proclaimed his innocence Friday night with his wife, Vanessa, by his side.

"I sit here in front of you guys, furious at myself, disgusted at myself for making a mistake of adultery," Bryant told a news conference at the Staples Center, the arena where his Los Angeles Lakers play.

Bryant struggled to find the words to begin. He fought back tears as he talked, repeating "I'm innocent" a handful of times in a short, apparently unscripted speech. He paused at length in some parts. Despite the room filled with cameras, he tried to downplay his superstar persona.

"I mourn. I cry. Just like everybody else," he said. "I sit here before you guys embarrassed and ashamed for committing adultery."

Bryant made the comments hours after he was charged with one count of sexual assault against a 19-year-old hotel worker in Colorado, a charge that carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

The victim has not been named and has not spoken publicly. Her friends describe her as an honest, ambitious woman

Bryant, however, held the nation's attention with his live press conference in which he declared his love for his wife.

Turning to her, he said, "You're a piece of my heart. You're the air I breath. And you're the strongest person I know. And I'm so sorry for having to put you through this, for having to put our family through this."

Bryant said he would fight the charges.

"Shoulder to shoulder, we're going to fight this all the way to the end."

Vanessa Bryant did not speak, staring at the crowd of reporters.

After giving his speech, Bryant stood up, grabbed his wife's hand and silently walked out of the room. Not a single reporter asked Bryant a question.

When the door shut behind Bryant, his attorney, Pamela Mackey, said she would take "a limited number of questions."

Story Tools
Subscribe to Time for $1.99 cover
Top Stories
Father guilty of killing 9 of his children
Top Stories
CNN/Money: Security alert issued for 40 million credit cards

International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
   The Web     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.