Abigail Disney has weighed in on Kobe Bryant’s controversial past, after actress Evan Rachel Wood and a Washington Post journalist were berated for tweeting about a rape allegation against him from 2003, just hours after his death in a helicopter crash Sunday.
The Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker posted her opinion Wednesday morning, after Wood made her Twitter account private in response to backlash and Felicia Sonmez was reinstated as political reporter following her ‘ill-timed’ tweet that garnered death threats.
Disney – whose grandfather Roy O. Disney co-founded The Walt Disney Company – tweeted: ‘I haven’t said anything about Kobe so far because I felt some time needed to pass before weighing in. But yes, it’s time for the sledgehammer to come out. The man was a rapist. Deal with it.’
Her comments were swiftly met with backlash, with one fan telling Disney: ‘I usually enjoy your tweets & perspective, not this time.’
Another added: ‘You’re what’s wrong in this world.’
Abigail Disney has weighed in on Kobe Bryant’s (pictured right in 2006) controversial past, three days after he was killed in a helicopter crash. She tweeted: ‘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’
The Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker posted her opinion Wednesday morning, sharing a Washington Post story where journalist David Von Drehle writes that ‘remembering Kobe Bryant required the hammer of truth’ – referring to a reminder of a 2003 rape allegation against the sports star
Alongside her caption, Disney shared a Washington Post story by journalist David Von Drehle. He suggests that Sonmez shattered the illusion of Bryant’s perfect past, opining that she metaphorically ‘swung a 20-pound sledgehammer’ at Bryant’s hero image.
He calls her Twitter backlash as ‘disgusting as you would expect’ and shares how the decision for her to be suspended was widely ‘denounced inside the newsroom’.
Drehle notes in the article that ‘somewhere a woman was experiencing this outpouring of adulation for a man who choked and lacerated her during an encounter that she called a rape, and which he acknowledged was very much like one’.
Mentioning 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,’ he added: ‘This woman, and others like her, victimized by other accomplished, admired, even celebrated men, should not be resected from the stories of those men’s lives.’
Drehle’s op-ed ends with him opining the ‘hammer of truth’ is an imperfect tool because it will break hearts. He adds: ‘Still, it’s the best one we have.’
Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna (pictured together in December) and seven others were killed when his private helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California, on Sunday
The Washington Post story from David Von Drehle supported a colleague who received death threats after posting a story about a 2003 rape allegation against Bryant hours after he died
One Twitter user branded Disney feminist Social Justice Warrior ‘trash’ and wished death upon her
Some followers shared that they didn’t want to hear anything about Bryant’s controversial past
Some suggested Disney should not bring up the allegation because Bryant’s family was still grieving
Others accused Disney of starting trouble and pointed the finger at Bryant’s 19-year-old accuser who dropped the case against him as part of a private agreement
Although Bryant denied the rape charges, he did admit to cheating on his wife Vanessa and reportedly settled a civil suit with the 19-year-old.
Terms of the agreement were never released.
On Wednesday, one person tweeted Disney: ‘That was a money grab and you know it. Stop spreading that bs.’
Another wrote: ‘This is unfair and not ok. Feel how you will about him but his wife lost her husband, his daughters lost their father. If you must go down this road, educate yourself fully on that situation first, you just may feel a bit differently.’
One social media user replied: ‘Another example of Feminist SJW trash.’
Disney chimed in three days after Evan Rachel Wood tweeted: ‘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 deleted the Twitter post and shared an updated version of the message about the late basketball star, adding at the start: ‘What has happened is tragic.’
As fans around the world mourned the former LA Lakers player after his death at 41 alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others, some responded suggesting Wood was a hypocrite after working with Woody Allen whose daughter Dylan has accused him of child sex abuse.
Disney’s tweet came days after Evan Rachel Wood (right) received a massive backlash after she branded Bryant a rapist. She was referring to his 2003 rape allegation. Bryant is pictured left in court for the case in 2004
Wood first tweeted: ‘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’ but later deleted it and tweeted a new message with ‘what happened is tragic’ at the start
Wood later locked down her Twitter account after backlash for posting Bryant ‘was a rapist’
Hours after it was learned that Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter were among nine people who were killed in a helicopter crash, Washington Post journalist Felicia Sonmez tweeted a link to a 2016 story about the 2003 rape accusations
Sonmez was placed on administrative leave by The Washington Post, but was later reinstated after it was found she didn’t violate the social media policy
On Wednesday, Disney appeared to show support for Sonmez, who had posted a link to an April 2016 story from the news site The Daily Beast which carried the headline: ‘Kobe Bryant’s Disturbing Rape Case: The DNA Evidence, the Accuser’s Story, and the Half-Confession.’
Other social media users have thanked Disney, Wood and Sonmez for reminding the public of Bryant’s past.
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.
She has backed female-driven entertainment company Level Forward which helps tell stories from a perspective that’s rarely seen.
Disney – whose late father Roy E Disney was a top executive at The Walt Disney Company – also spoke in support of Christine Blasey Ford amid the Justice Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings in 2018.
‘In all seriousness, I feel for Dr. Ford, I have experienced sexual assault,’ Disney tweeted. She said ‘nothing has been as triggering for me’ as she compared Kavanaugh to her dad.
‘I had an angry, alcoholic father. He had an inside face and an outside face…’ Disney added.
She continued about Kavanaugh: ‘The allegation casts enough of a shadow over his character that no decision from here forward can ever go unquestioned.’
Although Abigail has inherited huge wealth from Disney, she does not have any involvement of the daily running of the company.
Her father Roy E Disney was worth an estimated $1.2billion before he died in 2009.
More than a year ago Disney showed support for Christine Blasey Ford who accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault. Disney added that she’s a victim of sexual assault herself
Disney compared Kavanaugh to her late father Roy E Disney who she accused of having an anger problem, among other things, rooted in his sense of entitlement
She added about Kavanaugh: ‘The allegation casts enough of a shadow over his character that no decision from here forward can ever go unquestioned’