Patrick Graber Allegedly Offered to Kill Kobe Bryant's Rape Accuser for $3M in 2003

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IISeptember 9, 2021

Former Los Angeles Lakers NBA basketball player Kobe Bryant listens to a question as he meets with students at Andrew Hamilton School in Philadelphia, Thursday, March 21, 2019. Kobe Bryant was promoting the book The Wizenard Series: Training Camp he created with writer Wesley King. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Bodybuilder Patrick Graber sent a letter via FedEx to Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant in 2003 offering to kill the woman who accused Bryant of sexual assault if he paid Graber $3,000,000. 

TMZ Sports reported that the FBI released a heavily-redacted 17-page document earlier this month detailing the case. They also noted that Bryant's team immediately contacted authorities after receiving the letter.

Per Scott Schwebke of the Orange County Register, an undercover Los Angeles County detective spoke twice with Graber, who admitted to the murder-for-hire scheme and said he would "execute Bryant’s accuser leaving no evidence."

In the meantime, officials also traveled to the woman's residence in Colorado to make her aware of the threat.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies and FBI agents arrested Graber on Sept. 18, 2003 as part of a setup to collect the first $1 million, according to Schwebke.

The bodybuilder reached into a car for a bag of movie studio prop money before 30 officers surrounded him in an El Segundo, California supermarket parking lot and arrested him.

The Swiss national, who was 31 years old when he sent the letter, pleaded no contest to grand theft in 2004, per Schwebke. Prosecutors dropped other charges, including solicitation to commit murder.

Graber was sentenced to three years in prison, and he was ordered to be deported upon his release.

Bryant was arrested in 2003 after a 19-year-old woman said he raped her at the Vail, Colorado, hotel where the Lakers star was staying prior to a scheduled knee surgery. He said the sexual encounter with the woman, who worked at the hotel, was consensual.

The criminal case was dropped after the woman decided not to testify. She and Bryant later settled out of court in a civil suit she filed against him.