Kobe Bryant Still In Court Feud With Mother Over Memorabilia Rights
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SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — A temporary restraining order, blocking Kobe Bryant’s mother from auctioning some of the Laker star’s memorabilia, has been kept in place by a federal judge.
Attorneys for both the athlete and his mother, Pamela Bryant, argued over the possibility of moving the legal matter to New Jersey, where similar litigation is currently pending.
Bryant’s mother reportedly wants the case to move to New Jersey, while Bryant wants it to stay in Orange County, where he resides.
A TRO was maintained by U.S. Distruct Judge Andrew Guilford, blocking Goldin Auctions from selling off the memorabilia, as Guilford prepares to rule on Goldin’s motion for a change of venue.
The Laker guard’s memorabilia’s reported potential worth is around $1 million.
“Perhaps this is a case of a young man who should have cleaned up his bedroom and didn’t do it,” Guilford said, smiling. “Or sent it to storage.”
Guilford is encouraging the attorneys to try to work out a settlement.
“Talk about how you can resolve it,” Guilford said, suggesting the two sides go to “binding arbitration in the next week or two,” or allow the judge to send the case to a “mediation panel.”
The judge also said he was inclined to recommend binding arbitration.
“The attorney’s fees must be mounting,” Guilford noted.
Sharia Washington, Kobe Bryant’s sister, has taken her brother’s side in the dispute, according to court papers.
Washington, a Las Vegas resident, said in court papers that her mother has indicated to her the value of her son’s memorabilia throughout the years.
“Although I have never been privy to any discussion between my mother, Pamela Bryant, and Kobe about ownership of his memorabilia, I have frequently heard my mother talk about how the family can make money on items associated with Kobe,” Washington said in the court papers.
Washington also brought up a conversation that had happened when she, her son, and her mother went to see Kobe Bryant play an exhibition game in Las Vegas.
“My son happened to be wearing an Olympic basketball T-shirt with the number 10 and Kobe’s name on the back,” Washington said. “My mother commented at that time that I should have Kobe sign my son’s personal T-shirt so that I could sell it.”
Washington also spoke about how she had stored memorabilia from Kobe’s music career in the past.
“My mother, Pamela, noted that I ‘need to keep that, because it will be worth something.'” Washington said, according to court papers. “I recently returned all of that memorabilia to Kobe because my mother has access to my garage, and I feared that she would try to sell that memorabilia.”
Meanwhile, Pamela Bryant contends that the memorabilia, including jerseys and championship rings, has been with her for 15 years, and that the basketball star gave her the keepsakes, according to court papers.
A hearing is set for a federal court in New Jersey on Tuesday.
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