(HorizonPost.com) – Basketball fans regard Kobe Bryant as one of the greatest to ever play the game. The man who nicknamed himself “Black Mamba” spent 20 years with the Los Angeles Lakers, picking up 18 All-Star awards and 5 NBA championships. This year, he received the honor of a place in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame.
The world was shocked to learn of Bryant’s death, along with those of his daughter and seven other individuals, in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, in January 2020. That said, Bryant’s personal life was not without controversy.
An Allegation of Assault and a Would-Be Hitman
A young woman accused the basketball player of rape following a sexual encounter in Eagle, Colorado, in 2003 that he maintained was consensual. Bryant, then 24 and already married, admitted the woman “did not… view this incident the same way [he] did” and issued an apology to her after she decided not to testify against him in court. The woman later settled a civil suit with Bryant for an undisclosed sum.
While the case was working its way through the court system and the media, a man named Patrick Graber saw an opportunity to profit from it. The bodybuilder sent Kobe Bryant an offer to kill his accuser for $3 million through the mail, promising to leave “no evidence.” He ended up in prison for this effort, and his story has now become public knowledge. Earlier this month, the FBI unsealed a heavily-redacted document with details of the case.
The FBI Unseals Documents on the Graber Case
The 17-page report reveals that Kobe Bryant’s security detail cooperated with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department following his receipt of the letter. Subsequently, federal police set Graber up, with undercover agents arranging several meetings with him. They even paid him for his proposed services with fake money.
Police also conducted several interviews with people connected to Patrick Graber, including his neighbors and employees at Gold’s Gym in Los Angeles. Authorities had to travel to Colorado to make Kobe Bryant’s accuser aware there was a potential threat to her life.
Graber, a native of Switzerland, was 31 when he attempted to contact Kobe Bryant. After his arrest in California, he pleaded no contest to grand theft. He did not have to face the charge of solicitation to commit murder or any other charges. The court sentenced him to three years in prison and ordered his deportation upon his release.
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