Friday , Jul , 25 , 2003 C.Y. Ellis

Judge orders silence; Kobe BRYANT goes shopping for $4 million diamond

Eagle, CO (Sports Network) – Eagle County Judge Fred Gannett has ordered attorneys from both sides, court personnel, law enforcement officers and witnesses involved in the Kobe Bryant case to refrain from releasing information because of the media frenzy that has followed the superstar’s arrest.

Judge orders silence; Kobe BRYANT goes shopping for $4 million diamond

Among other recent developments, it is being reported that Bryant will not play for the United States in the Olympic qualifying tournament next month in Puerto Rico. Also, information has been widespread about the alleged victim and recent turmoil in her life.

In an apparent attempt to heal wounds on the home front, Bryant purchased a rare diamond worth $4 million for his wife, Vanessa, this week. The Los Angeles Lakers guard has admitted to having sex with a 19-year-old hotel clerk, but denies charges of raping her.

News about the over-the-top jewelry overshadowed other developments in the Kobe Bryant case yesterday, including reports that his alleged victim bragged about the size of the basketball star’s “anatomy” to friends.

And speaking of size, local jewelry designer Jonathan Van-Dusen was impressed by the immensity of Bryant’s purchase.

“That’s huge for a colored diamond,” said Van-Dusen, who used to work at Lagos, a jewelry store on Walnut Street near 17th. “Eight carats is about half-an-inch across. That’s some serious big stuff.”

Bryant’s gift was purchased from the same Santa Monica, Calif., jeweler who sold Bryant and wife Vanessa, 21, their wedding rings, People magazine reports in its new editions this week.

Since Bryant’s arrest on felony sexual assault on July 4, the high profile case has drawn enormous public interest and information on the parties involved has been the main objective for the press.

According to police reports and witnesses, the woman accusing Bryant overdosed twice in the past five months. University of Northern Colorado officials confirmed that on February 25 the woman had to be taken by campus police to a hospital.

That news comes on the heels of confirmed reports that the woman ingested too many prescription pills in the spring and had to be rushed from her parents’ home to the emergency room. That overdose came in the midst of a series of emotional troubles the alleged victim has endured, including a breakup with a boyfriend and the death of a close friend.

According to the police complaint, Bryant had sex with the woman against her will on June 30 at the upscale Lodge and Spa at Cordillera. The woman worked at the front desk and Bryant was a guest from June 30 to July 2. The 24-year- old Bryant was in Colorado to have a surgical procedure performed on his right knee at Vail Steadman Hawkins Clinic.

The next court date for Bryant is before Gannett on August 6 when he will be advised of his rights.

If convicted, Bryant faces from four years to life in prison or 20 years to life on probation.

Bryant was the NBA’s second-leading scorer last season, averaging a career- high 30 points to go along with 6.9 rebounds and 5.9 assists. He scored 40-or-more points in nine straight games during the second half of the campaign. Bryant has won three world championships with the Lakers.