Five Athletes Whose Love Battles Killed Their Brands

Kobe Bryant and Wife

Kobe Bryant has to be one of the most loyal players around ---pun intended---having been the shooting guard for the Los Angeles Lakers for more than a decade. He is arguably one of the best basketball players of our time, and his talent is unquestionable. But in 2003, it wasn't his skill on the court, but his marital fidelity--- and criminal allegations--- that became a question and caused a major media storm. In June of that year, Bryant was accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old Colorado woman at the resort where she worked. The charge of sexual assault is a felony and would have resulted in a prison sentence as well as a fine. In 2004, the victim refused to participate in the trial and the charge was dismissed. A civil suit was subsequentially filed against him, and that case was settled out of court. During the trial, his endorsements with McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Ferrero were terminated. His wife also filed for divorce. Since then he has been able to bounce back, gaining endorsements from other companies.

Kobe Bryant has to be one of the most loyal players around —pun intended—having been…

(Photo by J. Emilio Flores/Getty Images)

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