AP, TVWeek

Washington Post Reporter Cleared in Kobe Bryant Incident

Jan 29, 2020  •  Post A Comment

A Washington Post reporter who was placed on administrative leave after sending out a link to a story about a 2003 rape allegation against Kobe Bryant has been cleared by the paper to return to work, the AP reports.

As we reported Tuesday, political reporter Felicia Sonmez was placed on leave after tweeting about the rape allegations, sparking a flurry of protests among Washington Post staffers and others.

The AP quotes a statement from the Post saying an internal review had determined that Sonmez was “not in clear and direct violation of our social media policy,” but that the tweets were “ill-timed.”

Her tweets went out soon after Bryant, 41, was killed Sunday in a helicopter crash.

The statement, signed by Washington Post managing editor Tracy Grant, adds: “We consistently urge restraint, which is particularly important when there are tragic deaths. We regret having spoken publicly about a personnel matter.”

The AP notes: “The paper had come under some intense internal criticism for having taken action against Sonmez. Hundreds of Post staffers had signed a letter from the Washington Post Newspaper Guild on Monday expressing ‘alarm and dismay’ over the move and urging executive editor Marty Baron and managing editor Tracy Grant to ensure Sonmez’s safety.”


  1. The real lesson here is that newspapers need to stop pressuring their reporters to tweet. etc. and
    let them REPORT and write. ANTI-Social media continues to wear away the basic foundations of our society and it’s got to stop.

  2. In the aftermath of a tragic death of a father and his 14 year old daughter, Felicia Sonmez thinks the only thing worth saying about Bryant is an unsubstantiated allegation from around 17 years ago. To her, that’s the most important thing she wants to say about Bryant. And the Washington Post staffers supported her. Apparently, they too feel that the most important thing about someone who dies tragically is reporting an unsubstantiated allegation from years ago. NOW, it’s time for anyone that knows the name of ANY Washington Post employee to make an unsubstantiated allegation against them. The worse the allegation, the better. When that employee dies, bring up that allegation so that person’s family feels even more grief than they would normally. If the Post wanted to report on an unsubstantiated allegation, the least they could do is give the family time to grieve.

  3. One has to wonder how POST staffers et al would react had the victim been a famous and popular female
    who was killed and a male reporter cited a year’ old arrest ( but no conviction) for prostitution.

  4. That’s the first thing I thought of when he died…everybody was celebrating him and I thought He had been accused of sex assault…..I think it’s worthy of a mention

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