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After late NBA superstar Kobe Bryant was accused of raping a hotel worker in Colorado, a Swiss bodybuilder offered in a letter to kill the woman for him for $3 million, the FBI has revealed.
Recently unsealed FBI documents, which have been heavily redacted, reveal the intimidation and potential murder plot suggested by Patrick Graber, a bodybuilder who lived in Los Angeles and worked at the same gym where Bryant sometimes exercised.
Graber, then 31, mailed Bryant the offer via a FedEx letter in 2003 claiming he could make his “problem with respect to the sexual assault case go away.”
Earlier that year, a 19-year-old woman claimed that the star basketball player raped her at the Edwards, Colorado hotel where she worked. Bryant maintained that the sex was consensual. The highly publicized case was later dropped after the woman declined to testify. She filed a civil suit in 2004 which was settled out of court the following year. While Bryant publicly apologized to the woman for the incident, he never admitted he was guilty of rape.
After Bryant received Graber’s offer, his team handed the letter to investigators. They in turn set up a controlled meeting with Graber, where the bodybuilder then offered to influence Bryant’s accuser and vowed to go “all the way” to eradicating her if she wouldn't be swayed from pursuing the case.
“The plan for the next 180 days includes a rapid attempt to conduct another meet with [redacted] and then set up a money drop for the intended murder or intimidation of the witness,” the document states. “[Redacted] is asking for $3 million and is expecting the deal to be [redacted].”
Graber was charged shortly after that meeting with one count of solicitation to commit murder and one count of solicitation to dissuade a witness, the Los Angeles Times reported in 2003. He was arrested by both the Los Angeles Sheriff's Deputies and FBI at a supermarket where he thought he was getting an advance payment of $1 million.
Graber was sentenced to three years behind bars in 2004 after taking a deal and pleading no contest to grand theft; prosecutors dropped several charges in exchange for the plea, the Associated Press reported in 2004. He was deported back to Switzerland following his time served. In a 2007 self-published book, “Dead Women Tell No Tales: Who Planned the Murder of the Witness in the Kobe Bryant Rape Case?” Graber claimed he was set up and that he was once employed by Bryant; this claim has never been verified.
Bryant died at the age of 41 along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, in a January 2020 helicopter crash. Seven others were also killed in the crash.
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