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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Kobe Bryant Scheduled to Appear in Court Wednesday

Aired August 1, 2003 - 19:31   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Authorities in Colorado continue to build their case this week in the investigation involving Kobe Bryant, who is charged with sexual assault.
Joining us to talk about where things stand as the week draws to an end, Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, an assistant district attorney in San Francisco.

Kimberly, good to see you again.

Two, really, new developments to talk about tonight. One, this thing Gary Tuchman just reported, the 911 call made from Kobe Bryant's house by Kobe Bryant the night he got back from Colorado. Significant at all? I mean, we don't know who it was for. They treated a woman, left.

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE NEWSOM, SAN FRANCISCO ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Right.

It's interesting and curious in terms of the timing so it does give one pause to speculate in terms of what might have happened, was it his wife? If it was his wife, in fact, that needed medical assistance? Was it because maybe he told her what had happened and transpired and...

COOPER: But all of that just speculation.

NEWSOM: Absolutely.

COOPER: Not really -- I mean, anything that will wind up in court.

NEWSOM: Exactly.

COOPER: But something that very may well wind up in court or at least being discussed in early evidentiary hearings, the Eagle County, Colorado, sheriff's office settled a racial profiling case several years ago. Why is that significant?

NEWSOM: I think it's, in fact, explosive evidence. And in fact, I think it will benefit the defense in this case. The prosecution should be concerned.

Again, this reminds me sot of the O.J. Simpson case where they have the issues with Mark Fuhrman. We've already started them to say that this is kind of -- see the race card being employed, that this was something that was racially motivated, that the rush to judgment by the sheriff's department in arresting him.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Because this was quite a massive settlement. I mean, this was like -- like $800,000 or something.

NEWSOM: That's correct.

COOPER: There were, like, several hundred charges or cases of -- alleged cases of racial profiling.

NEWSOM: Yes, that's correct, and that's why it makes it significant. When you look at the relative population statistics in Eagle County, .3 percent African-American. So this makes it something that's significant. It could come to play in the case if, in fact, one of these investigators takes the stand, look to see the defense cross-examine on bias.

COOPER: Even if -- I mean, we're not even talking about the ultimate trial. This could go for a change of venue. I mean, they could very -- the defense could easily argue, you know, this prosecutor's office is tainted in some way.

NEWSOM: In fact, they could ask to have the prosecution's office recused in some way if they think that the taint is so permeating throughout the department and through this agency.

So -- but again, it's something that is going to come into play in this case and it's happening already from the outset.

COOPER: And at this point, it seems unclear what level of involvement the individual in the prosecutor's office who was involved in this Eagle County Sheriff's Office case is actually having in the Kobe Bryant case. But does that even matter for the defense?

NEWSOM: Well, it does matter to the extent they can bring it up. And the prosecution should think twice before they call this person to testify. And in fact, to me, it was just shocking that they, in fact, had this individual involved in this case, knowing that he was involved with this past allegation and with this settlement.

COOPER: If it -- if the venue isn't changed, it seems to set up, as you mentioned, the O.J. Simpson defense.

NEWSOM: Yes, and it's unfortunate, because then, again, we saw in this case they're starting to say rush to judgment, that they acted impetuously by arresting Kobe Bryant right away, that the sheriff's department, again, who's the subject of these allegations, did not even consult with the district attorney's office before putting out this arrest warrant for Kobe Bryant. And that's not how things are done.

COOPER: August 6, he has to show up in court. That's Wednesday, I believe.

NEWSOM: Correct. COOPER: What should we be looking for?

NEWSOM: It's a bond return date and, again, he'll be advised of the charges against him, which we already are aware of in the media. The curious thing is that he did not want to attend this and had requested that he get a waiver from attending and the judge said superstar or not, you're going to be treated just the same, like anyone else that's facing these particular charges.

COOPER: Unlike with anyone else, though, this is going to be a media circus on Wednesday, no doubt about it. Kimberly...

NEWSOM: Absolutely.

COOPER: ..Guilfoyle Newsom, thanks for being with us.

NEWSOM: Thank you.

COOPER: All right.

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