Bryant ready to pay off accuser |

Bryant ready to pay off accuser

Don Rogers

This time, he blinked. So ends one expensive trip to Eagle County a couple of summers ago for Kobe Bryant, he formerly of the “squeaky clean” image fit for McDonald’s. With a settlement.The young, troubled woman who accused him of raping her at the Lodge and Spa at Cordillera on Jun3 30, 2003, will be millions richer for the experience. The young, troubled NBA basketball star is a little lighter in the wallet but free of a prison cell or even inconvenient questions that a court would compel him to answer.Last time she blinked, ducking the criminal trial at the last minute and leaving a lot of questions in her wake about the strength of the case and just how much the authorities who carried it forward had been played.Now the big star folds. Nice to have the ready cash on hand to make this nightmare go away. Hey, worked for Michael Jackson, once. Let’s see if Bryant has learned anything.So the young woman, now married and pregnant, moves on with life as one of the wealthy folk. And Bryant, remarkably still married and with a toddler daughter, continues on his celebrity way.The district attorney who prosecuted the case remains in office, thanks in part to an election rival no one in the 5th District had heard of before or seen since. The judge in the case was re-elected easily, though not as easily as the other judges up for voter review.The Daily’s lead reporter on the case now is the editor of a paper in Grand Junction. Mr. “X” is still at least somewhat of a mystery. The snow fell. More people than ever have come to Eagle County this past year and a half for all the right reasons.Older, maybe wiser, we all move on. Just glad it’s over. Vail, Colorado

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