Forms of Endearment

Sports Illustrated
Year End Double Issue 2003

Forms of Endearment:
Want to have sex with an athlete? Just sign here. The Bryant case has spawned a sex contract.

When Kobe Bryant hit the game-whining jumper in the Lakers 101-99 home win over the Nuggets last Friday night, it did not change the fact that he missed the first quarter because of his required appearance in a Colorado courtroom. There, judge Terry Ruckriegle put off ruling on several motions, including whether the medical history of the woman accusing him of rape is admissible.

In a highly unlikely scenario that the evidence is admitted, it could have an impact on Bryant’s case, but his fate ultimately hinges on where the jury believes the sexual encounter between Bryant and his 19-year-old accuser was consensual. Proving consent is notoriously difficult – a fact not lost on Dr. Ava Cadell, an LA area sexologist. . “Athletes are going to have to carry sexual consent forms just like they carry condoms,” says Cadell, whose form stipulates that the potential sex partner is at least 18 and not under the influence of mind-altering drugs. She agrees to “engage in and all sexual acts legally permissible” and that “she will not bring criminal charges” against the man. “It’s another layer of protection.” Several players contacted by SI say they would use the contract. “You have to,” says Hawks forward Stephen Jackson. “People look at us as targets and try to get what they can out of us.”

But because any such documents have yet to be tested in court, and because a woman can withdraw her consent at any time, lawyers question the forms’ relevance.

Still, some think it could greatly aid the defense, says Larry Pozner, former president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, “If Kobe had one of these signed forms, prosecuting him would be difficult. The only thing better would be videotape. But if you thing getting a pre-nup signed is difficult, try getting one of these signed.

Read and Download Dr. Ava’s Sexual Consent Form.