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Judge chastises attorneys in Bryant case
Updated: 2005-02-03 09:33

A federal judge chastised attorneys in the civil case against NBA star Kobe Bryant on Wednesday and said they would no longer be allowed to put "immaterial, impertinent and scandalous information" in public filings as a summer trial looms.

Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryanat celebrates the Lakers' 92-79 victory over the Portland Trailblazers in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2005. [AP]
As the 20-year-old woman accusing Bryant of rape watched from a chair between her attorneys, U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch said he was tired of having details put before the public that should be confidential.

"The court is not involved in the entertainment business," said Matsch, who handled the Oklahoma City bombing trials and carries a no-nonsense reputation. "It is to be expected that everything that is done here is done consistently with the rules and with a sense of decorum and decency."

Matsch said a number of court filings will be sealed. The material at issue is expected to include depositions, requests between attorneys and potential questions that will delve into the lives and sexual history of Bryant and the woman.

The woman sued the Los Angeles Lakers star in August, three weeks before the criminal case against him collapsed in Eagle County. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for mental injuries, humiliation and public scorn the woman said she has suffered since their encounter at an upscale hotel near Vail in June 2003.

Bryant, a married father of one, issued an apology but maintained the sex was consensual.

One of the woman's attorneys, L. Lin Wood, said outside court that he agreed with Matsch.

"Too much has been filed that had no business being filed. The court system should not be a public relations machine," he said. Defense attorneys did not comment.

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