'Terrible person': Outrage over reporter's 'disgusting' tweet about Kobe Bryant's death

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor

A reporter from the Washington Post has been widely condemned after retweeting a story about rape allegations against Kobe Bryant just hours after his death.

Tributes are pouring in from across the globe for the NBA legend, who was killed in a helicopter crash in southern California aged 41.

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Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna was also among nine people killed in the crash.

US President Donald Trump, Usain Bolt, Tom Brady, Whoopi Goldberg, Lennox Lewis, Andy Murray and Justin Bieber are among those to pay their respects to the five-time NBA champion and 18-time All-Star on social media.

Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash in California. Image: Getty

However Felicia Sonmez, national political reporter at the Washington Post, has gone the other way.

Sonmez re-posted a link to a story from 2016 about allegations of rape against Bryant in 2003, which were eventually dropped before a susbsequent civil case was settled out of court.

“Kobe Bryant’s Disturbing Rape Case: The DNA Evidence, the Accuser’s Story, and the Half-Confession,” she wrote on Twitter.

Somnez’s post sparked immediate outrage, with users flooding the tweet with comments of condemnation.

“You’re a terrible person,” said author Mike Cernovich.

“What kind of person just decides to post this now,” wrote Daily Wire contributor Harry Khachatrian.

Comedian Bridget Phetasy added: “This is gross. A woman lost her husband and child today. Kids lost their father and sister. Children all over the world lost their hero.”

“People are grieving. Maybe give it a day before you trample on the memories of the deceased.”

Somnez has since deleted the tweet, but not before defended herself and urging the “10,000 people” who commented with “abuse and death threats” to “please take a moment and read the story”.

“Any public figure is worth remembering in their totality even if that public figure is beloved and that totality unsettling,” she wrote.

“That folks are responding with rage and threats toward me (someone who didn’t even write the piece but found it well-reported) speaks volumes about the pressure people come under to stay silent in these cases.”

(L-R) Vanessa Laine Bryant, Kobe Bryant, Natalia Diamante Bryant and Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant in 2018. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

BBC apologises over ‘disgraceful’ Kobe gaffe

Somnez wasn’t the only figure under fire in the aftermath of the tragedy, with the BBC forced to apologise after a horrible error in a video tribute to Bryant.

As the tribute piece reflected on Kobe’s career, it featured highlights of LeBron James instead of Bryant.

Fans were understandably shocked by the mistake.

Paul Royall, editor of the BBC News Ten, took to Twitter to apologise.

“In tonight’s coverage of the death of Kobe Bryant on #BBCNewsTen we mistakenly used pictures of LeBron James in one section of the report,” he wrote.

“We apologise for this human error which fell below our usual standards on the programme.”

with agencies