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'Washington Post' Reporter Suspended For Tweeting Link To A Kobe Bryant Rape Case Story

Gettyimages | Rob Carr
By Clark Sparky

While most were in shock and busy collecting their thoughts about the news that Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter had died in a helicopter crash, Washington Post reporter decided to tweet out a link to an article about the basketball star's 2003 rape case.

Felicia Sonmez tweeted out a 2016 Daily Beast article titled "Kobe Bryant's Disturbing Rape Case: The DNA Evidence, the Accuser's Story, and the Half-Confession" just hours after Bryant's death.


Sonmez later tweeted that she had received death threats following her initial tweet linking to the article.

"Well, THAT was eye-opening," she wrote. "To the 10,000 people (literally) who have commented and emailed me with abuse and death threats, please take a moment and read the story - which was written 3+ years ago, and not by me. Any public figure is worth remembering in their totality even if that public figure is beloved and that totality unsettling.

"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," she continued.

She continued tweeting, writing, "As an addendum: Hard to see what’s accomplished by messages such as these."

And then Sonmez added one final tweet. "If your response to a news article is to resort to harassment and intimidation of journalists, you might want to consider that your behavior says more about you than the person you’re targeting," she wrote.

Gettyimages | Christian Petersen

All of the tweets have since been deleted, but managing editor of The Washington Post Tracy Grant confirmed to the Daily Mail that Sonmez has been placed on leave.

"National political reporter Felicia Sonmez was placed on administrative leave while The Post reviews whether tweets about the death of Kobe Bryant violated The Post newsroom's social media policy," Grant said. "The tweets displayed poor judgment that undermined the work of her colleagues."

Among the nine people who perishing in the accident was Bryant's daughter, Gianna, who he was extremely proud of as evidenced by a resurfaced interview on "Jimmy Kimmel Live."

"(Gianna will) be standing next to me, and it'll be like, 'And you gotta have a boy. You and V gotta have a boy, have somebody carry on the tradition, the legacy.' She's like, 'I got this. No boy for that, I got this,'" he said.

"It's not that, some of them may want to play in WNBA, some of them may not, but we try to give them a foundation of the amount of work and preparation that it takes to be excellent."

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