When the officers told Bryant that she had taken an exam that yielded physical evidence, such as semen, Bryant admitted to having sexual intercourse with her, but stated that the sex was consensual.
When asked how hard he was holding onto her neck, Bryant stated, "My hands are strong. Bryant later said that he believed his accuser was capable of saying no because during the encounter he asked her if he could "cum on her face", and she said no.
Bryant flew from Los Angeles back to Eagle, Colorado to surrender to police. If convicted, Bryant faced probation to life in prison. On July 18, after he was formally charged, Bryant held a news conference in which he adamantly denied having raped the woman. With his wife, Vanessa , at his side, he confessed, in tears, to having an adulterous sexual encounter with her, but insisted that everything that happened between the two had been consensual. Bryant's defense stated that the exam results showed "compelling evidence of innocence" because the accuser must have had another sexual encounter immediately after the incident.
She told investigators that she grabbed dirty underwear by mistake from her laundry basket when she left her home for the examination. The evidence recovered by police included the T-shirt that Bryant wore the night of the incident, which had three small stains of the accuser's blood on it.
The smudge was verified to be the accuser's blood by DNA testing and probably was not menstrual blood because the accuser said she had her period two weeks earlier.
It was revealed that Bryant leaned the woman over a chair to have sex with her, which allegedly caused the bleeding. This was the sex act in question, as the accuser claims she told Bryant to stop but he would not, and Bryant claims he stopped after asking if he could ejaculate on her face. A few weeks before the trial was scheduled to begin, the accuser wrote a letter to state investigator Gerry Sandberg clarifying some details of her first interview by Colorado police.
She wrote, "I told Detective Winters that on that morning while leaving I had car troubles. That was not true. When I called in late to work that day that was the reason I gave my boss for being late. In all reality, I had simply overslept I told Detective Winters that Mr. Bryant had made me stay in the room and wash my face. While I was held against my will in that room, I was not forced to wash my face. I did not wash my face. Instead I stopped at the mirror by the elevator on that floor to clean my face up.
I am extremely disappointed in myself and also very sorry to anyone misled by that mix-up of information. I said what I said because I felt that Detective Winters did not believe what had happened to me. The accuser was hospitalized as a "danger to herself" four months before the alleged sexual assault. Before the alleged incident, the accuser, an aspiring singer, tried out for the television show American Idol with the song "Forgive" by Rebecca Lynn Howard , but failed to advance.
The two sides ultimately settled that lawsuit, with specific terms of the settlement being undisclosed to the public. First, I want to apologize directly to the young woman involved in this incident. I want to apologize to her for my behavior that night and for the consequences she has suffered in the past year.
Although this year has been incredibly difficult for me personally, I can only imagine the pain she has had to endure. I also want to apologize to her parents and family members, and to my family and friends and supporters, and to the citizens of Eagle, Colo. I also want to make it clear that I do not question the motives of this young woman.
No money has been paid to this woman. She has agreed that this statement will not be used against me in the civil case. Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, 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.
I issue this statement today fully aware that while one part of this case ends today, another remains. I understand that the civil case against me will go forward. That part of this case will be decided by and between the parties directly involved in the incident and will no longer be a financial or emotional drain on the citizens of the state of Colorado.
There was speculation that some pieces included in this sale were from "Room 35" where Kobe Bryant had allegedly stayed at the time.