Westworld actress and activist Evan Rachel Wood sparked controversy with her response to the death of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant. The actress reminded fans of a past sexual assault allegation against Bryant, just hours after he died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. Bryant's 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant was also on the helicopter.
"What has happened is tragic. I am heartbroken for Kobe's family," Wood tweeted. "He was a sports hero. He was also a rapist. And all of these truths can exist simultaneously."
Wood tweeted the message twice. Her original tweet did not include the sentence "What has happened was tragic," which she added in the second tweet.
Wood, who has openly discussed being a survivor of sexual harassment herself, also posted a link to a 2016 Daily Beast article on the rape allegations. She deleted that tweet as well.
The actress was referring to a 2003 case, in which a 19-year-old woman accused Bryant of sexual assault. A week before a trial was scheduled to begin, the case was dismissed because the victim would not testify. The woman later filed a civil suit, but that was dismissed after he issued an apology to the alleged victim, which was read in court. Terms of the settlement were undisclosed.
Wood's tweet was instantly criticized and considered in poor taste.
"I'm a huge fan of you, but now isn't really the time hun," one person tweeted. "A family's is grieving. A wife lost her husband. Children lost their father. If you don't have anything nice to say it's best not to say anything at all."
"You should've kept this deleted. Have some empathy," another wrote. "People have died here, it's not the time to push your agenda."
"A mother just lost her daughter and husband," another wrote. "And siblings just lost their father and sister. Have some f— respect."
Bryant died when his private helicopter crashed just before 10 a.m. local time in Calabasas. At the time, there were foggy weather conditions.
At least three other people were in the helicopter with Bryant, and there were no survivors. His representatives confirmed to TMZ Sports that Gianna was with him at the time, and they were heading to the Mamba Academy for a basketball practice in Thousand Oaks.
The identities of the other victims have not been reported. ESPN reports they were another player and a parent.
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