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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Legal Analysis With Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom

Aired August 21, 2003 - 19:31   ET

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

BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: Want to take a moment right now and look at -- a closer look at today's developments in the Kobe Bryant case. We told you earlier how the presiding judge has agreed to unseal certain documents after both sides have had a bit of time to appeal, 10 days, in fact.
Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, an assistant D.A. in San Francisco, one of our CNN legal analysts with us tonight here in New York.

Nice to see you in person.

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE NEWSOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Thank you.

HEMMER: Let's start from the top here quickly. What's in this arrest warrant, by the way, that's getting all this attention today?

NEWSOM: The meat of the case. Basically all the fact that showed the D.A., in fact, that there was a case against Kobe Bryant that he, in fact, was a person that they should charge with this forcible sexual assault crime. You're going to hear all the contact and conduct between the two of them, the initial encounter that is alleged to be consensual, the conduct that preceded it, the conduct that came after that shows that is was nonconsensual.

HEMMER: So this is pretty detailed then?

NEWSOM: It is. It's very detailed.

HEMMER: This is the heart of the matter, isn't it?

NEWSOM: Especially in this particular type case we have sensitive information and facts that are alleged here that occurred between these two people.

HEMMER: OK then, if that's the case then, if the judge says he's gone ahead and said, OK, we can release this, he also said that it will not damage his right to a fair trial.

You agree with that?

NEWSOM: Not necessarily. I think there's credible arguments on both sides. But keep in mind, it's unique in this case that prosecution and the defense joined forces here to oppose the release of this information. So I expect that they'll both appeal it and we will not see the results of the contents of those affidavits and arrest warrants until after the preliminary hearing. HEMMER: Tell me something here. Why is this in the public's interest?

NEWSOM: Well, I think you have here an NBA superstar, somebody that the whole country has come to know and love like Kobe Bryant, someone like a Michael Jordan that people look up to from all different ages. And in this case the nature of the crime occurring here, sexual assault, it's definitely something that the public wants to know more about.

HEMMER: OK, you're saying both the prosecution and the defense will not want this released.

NEWSOM: Right.

HEMMER: But at some point it's going to come out.

NEWSOM: It will definitely coming come out during the preliminary hearing. And if that goes on as scheduled for October 9, then we're going to see exactly what occurred, the conduct, the language between these two parties.

HEMMER: Now what do you think of the judge right now? Do you think he's being fair or do you think possibly he's being overly fair?

NEWSOM: In fact, I have to tell you that it's admirable what he's done today. It's curious because, again, given the nature of the charge. But it's a bold, brazen move by the judge...

HEMMER: Yes?

NEWSOM: ...to release information in a case like this. I think it's unexpected, but given his curious comments earlier saying he wants to notify both parties, give people to time to appeal, it's something that I expected. So not surprised in that sense.

HEMMER: All right. You mention the preliminary hearing first part of the October. Why the delay so much? Is this simple celebrity that it comes down to in this case?

NEWSOM: Well, there has been some allegations, is the whole trial going to be pushed off until after the NBA season and you see the Lakers backing him? With Kobe Bryant, this judge, Judge Gannett, has gone out of his way to show he will be treated no differently as any other defendant who walks through those courtroom doors charged with this particular type of offense.

HEMMER: To this point, do you think that's the case even though we don't have a preliminary hearing for another two months almost?

NEWSOM: I do, especially given the attention this case is getting. It's not uncommon for them to put it back. It is a serious charge. He's looking at a life top in terms of imprisonment. So it's something that the courts will take seriously and it gives everyone time to prepare.

HEMMER: That it does. We're included in that as well getting ready, for this.

NEWSOM: Definitely.

HEMMER: Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, good to see you tonight...

NEWSOM: You as well.

HEMMER: ...here in New York.

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