Thursday 30 January 2020

Disney Heiress Tweets About Kobe: ‘The Man Was A Rapist. Deal With It.’

On Wednesday, Walt Disney Company heiress and Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker Abigail Disney weighed in on the death of NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, who was killed on Sunday along with his 13-year-old daughter and seven other people in a helicopter crash, tweeting, “I haven’t said anything about Kobe so far because I felt some time needed to pass… The man was a rapist. Deal with it.”
Disney was responding to an op-ed in The Washington Post on Tuesday by David Von Drehle titled, Remembering Kobe Bryant required the hammer of truth” in which Von Drehle defended his colleague Felicia Sonmez, who was temporarily suspended after she tweeted a link to a report delineating the rape accusation against Bryant from 2003. Von Drehle wrote:
I’ve never met my Post colleague Felicia Sonmez, but I’ve read enough of her work to know that she’s crackerjack. After the crash, she swung a 20-pound sledgehammer at the Bryant story, tweeting a link to a detailed report of the highly credible rape accusation lodged against the hard-court hero in 2003. When I say “highly credible,” I mean that Bryant himself admitted that he engaged in rough sex with his accuser, choked her so violently that she had bruises on her jawline and left her with multiple lacerations. In a statement, he acknowledged that he could understand why she thought he had raped her — even though the encounter seemed consensual to him.
Von Drehle continued:
The Twitter response to this truth-telling, so soon after the deaths, was predictably as disgusting as you would expect from the social media dystopia. What sparked controversy was the reaction of Sonmez’s senior editors. Like most media organizations, The Post walks a precarious path between loving and loathing Twitter. On one hand, the platform is an efficient means to promote good work. On the other hand, it’s the digital equivalent of an overflowing septic tank. In this case, the attempt to highlight an important fact in a major story landed the paper smack dab in the sewage. Sonmez was suspended with pay — a decision widely denounced inside the newsroom and beyond. (The Post later reinstated Sonmez on Tuesday.)
Disney was both castigated and defended on Twitter after her tweet on Wednesday. She is not the only quasi-celebrity who has brought up the rape accusation against Bryant; actress Evan Rachel Wood tweeted and later deleted, “I am heartbroken for Kobe’s family. He was a sports hero. He was also a rapist. And all of these truths can exist simultaneously.” She later issued another tweet in which she began, “What has happened is tragic.”
The Daily Mail noted, “Disney has spoken about being a survivor of sexual assault herself and in the past has expressed how furious she was about hearing MeToo allegations against Harvey Weinstein.”
During the hearings for Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, Disney tweeted,

In all seriousness, let me say this. I feel for Dr. Ford, I have experienced sexual assault. But nothing today has been as triggering for me as the rage and entitlement in this man. I had an angry, alcoholic father. He had an inside face and an outside face.He could make anyone believe he was a lovely, sweet, gentle man. If he’d been a Federal Judge, I am sure the ABA would have said nice things about him too. He did not rage every day, or about everything. But when he did rage it was terrifying.And generally what would send him into a rage was the same thing that sets off Judge Kavanaugh. Disrespect. Insubordination. Arrogance. Attitude. Entitlement. Disobedience …

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