Basketball stars live a glamorous life, full of fanfare and sponsorships. But every few years, serious allegations seem to pop up against these athletic superstars.
On this day, July 18th, in 2003, Kobe Bryant, basketball star of the Los Angeles Lakers, was charged with assault by a 19-year-old hotel employee. The charges were later dropped when Bryant’s accuser refused to testify at trial.
Bryant later admitted publicly that his accuser might have been right. Although the criminal charges were dropped, civil charges were subsequently brought and a settlement was reached without disclosure to the public. These accusations greatly damaged Bryant’s reputation in the public’s eye. He lost endorsement contracts with both McDonald’s and Nutella. Bryant’s replica jersey also lost significant sales because of the charges.