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Dear Mr. Kobe Bryant:
My name is Johnny and I’m nine, and I wanna be just like you.
I love basketball and you are my favourest player, and I love watchin’ you fly through the air dunkin’ and scorin’ points.
I have everything of yours. Your posters are on my wall, I drink what you drink, eat what you eat, wear what you wear. Daddy is never at home ’cuz we don’t have much money and works two jobs, but it’s worth it ’cuz I look just like you.
One time I cried for a really long time at the mall ’cuz mommy wouldn’t buy me your new jersey ’cuz it was too much money and said we needed the money for food.
But she got it for me when I said she was a bad mommy for what she did and I stopped talkin’ to her ’cuz I remembered what you told me on the TV after a game—do whatever it takes to win.
But a little while ago, when I was cuttin’ your picture out of the magazines and puttin’ them in my big scrapbook, daddy came into my room and started rippin’ down your face from my walls and put your things in the trash.
I started yellin’ at daddy and started to cry. He stopped and when he tried to give me a hug, I punched him on his nose and ran to mommy. Mommy asked me why I was runnin’ so fast and I said I hated daddy ’cuz he was a really mean person.
Daddy came down to the ki’chen and his nose was bleedin’, but he wasn’t mad. And you would have been proud of me, Mr. Bryant, ’cuz I wasn’t scared when daddy took me to the livin’ room, ’cuz I knew what I did was right, and daddy put me on the couch ’cuz he wanted to talk to me.
Daddy told me that you’d done something really bad to a girl and he wanted me to throw away all of your things. I yelled no and said he was a liar, and ran screamin’ to my room.
I started puttin’ your pictures back on the wall after my stupid daddy pulled them off. I turned on the TV and I saw your picture, so I turn’d the volume up ’cuz I thought it was a new commercial or somethin’.
But the man on TV said you might be goin’ to jail and might never play basketball again ’cuz you did somethin’ very bad. I couldn’t understand what the man was sayin’, so I screamed for mommy to come and explain to me what was happenin’ to you.
Mommy ran up and I asked what the man wearin’ the suit was sayin’, and she said you were in a place called Colorado to get help for your knee and this girl came up to your hotel to hug you or somethin’ and then the girl said she didn’t want you to hug her anymore.
The man said you could go to jail for a very long time and might never play basketball again.
I cried when I heard this and I will pray for you ever night because God loves me and would never hurt anyone I love.
Your biggest fan,
(July 8, 2003)
Kobe Bryant was charged with sexual assault on July 3 of last year after he allegedly sexually abused a worker at a resort he was staying at in Cordillera, Colo. A person charged with sexual assault in Colorado potentially face four years to life in prison or 20 years on probation.
The charges against Bryant were dropped by the prosecution earlier this month during the jury selection process of the preliminary phase, stating, in a press release, the victim was “subject to worldwide scrutiny” and “was physically ill.”
The victim, whose name and medical history was released to the media several times during the course of the preliminary proceedings, also received a number of death threats.
“I want to apologize directly to the young woman involved in this incident. I want to apologize to her for my behaviour that night and for the consequences she has suffered in the past year. . . .
“Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consenual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did.” (part of the three-paragrpah statement Bryant released to the media after the charges against him were dropped).
Dear Mr. Kobe Bryant:
It’s me, Johnny. Remember me?
I know that you’ve been really busy, but I was watchin’ the TV the other day and the man said you’re not goin’ to the jail and you will be playin’ basketball next year!
I was so happy that I went out to my front yard and jumped on my swing and started yellin’ that you were goin’ to play. Mommy came outside and asked why I was so happy, and I told her the great news and she’d this really weird look on her face.
I’m still mad at daddy for what he did to your things, but mommy was really nice and kept them safe in the garage, but then daddy found out what mommy did, he got mad and I don’t know why, but they don’t talk much anymore.
But anyways, I went back to my room and watched some more TV and the man with the microphone said you might have to pay the lady a buncha money ’cuz the lady is still mad at you for huggin’ her, which you ‘pologized for in a nice letter you wrote.
I thought that was really nice of you to do that, even though you did nothin’ wrong.
But that’s okay ’cuz you are rich. And then the man on the TV said another lady in a place called Florida said she didn’t like the way you hugged her, either, but she prob’ly wants your money, too.
I hate it when people lie and that is why you are my favourest.
Your biggest fan,
(Sept. 13, 2004)
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