Felicia Sonmez Bio, Wiki
Felicia Sonmez is an American journalist based in Washington, D.C. She is a national reporter on The Washington Post’s breaking political news team. She was suspended in January 2020, after posting a link to an article about sexual assault allegations against Kobe Bryant in the aftermath of just hours after Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant, and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash in California on January 26th, 2020.
Felicia Sonmez Age
Sonmez was born in 1983 and is currently 37 years old.
Felicia Sonmez Education
Sonmez graduated from Harvard University in 2005 with a Bachelor’s degree in government as per her Linkedln. She also spent a year in advanced Chinese language study as a Blakemore Freeman Fellow at Tsinghua University.
Felicia Sonmez Career
Sonmez began her career teaching English in Beijing, China and has also covered U.S. politics for the Asahi Shimbun and National Journal’s The Hotline. From 2010 to 2013, she reported on national politics for The Washington Post, starting as a writer for The Fix and going on to cover Congress, the 2012 presidential campaign and the early days of President Barack Obama’s second term.
Her Bio in The Washington Post reads that she “is a national political reporter covering breaking news from the White House, Congress, and the campaign trail. Previously, she spent more than four years in Beijing, where she worked first as a correspondent for Agence France-Presse and later as the editor of The Wall Street Journal’s China Real Time Report.
Felicia Sonmez Tweet
Felicia Sonmez tweeted a link to a 2016 Daily Beast report headlined “Kobe Bryant’s Disturbing Rape Case: The DNA Evidence, the Accuser’s Story, and the Half-Confession.” The tweets sparked outrage and she later deleted them after “10,000 people” had commented and “emailed me with abuse and death threats.”
She wrote in the tweets screen-grabbed by journalist Matthew Keys, “Well, THAT was eye-opening. To the 10,000 people (literally) who have commented and emailed me with abuse and death threats, please take a moment and read the story — which was written 3+ years ago and not by me. Any public figure is worth remembering in their totality even if that public figure is beloved and that totality unsettling. That folks are responding with rage & threats toward me (someone who didn’t even write the piece but found it well-reported) speaks volumes about the pressure people come under to stay silent in these cases.”
Washington Post reporter @feliciasonmez deleted her crass tweets about Kobe Bryant. But screen grabs are forever – and I took some before she deleted the tweets.
Bye, Felicia. pic.twitter.com/IvNZHkiBam
— Matthew Keys (@MatthewKeysLive) January 26, 2020
Washington Post managing editor Tracy Grant told the Daily Mail that Sonmez was “placed on administrative leave” as The Post reviewed whether her tweets “violated The Post newsroom’s social media policy.” Grant added that “the tweets displayed poor judgment that undermined the work of her colleagues.”
Kobe Bryant 2003 Rape Allegations
Back in 2003, the sheriff’s office of Eagle, Colorado, arrested Bryant in connection with an investigation of a sexual assault complaint filed by a 19-year-old hotel employee. Bryant had checked into The Lodge and Spa at Cordillera in Eagle County in advance of undergoing knee surgery nearby. The accuser stated that Bryant raped her in his hotel room the night before Bryant was to have the procedure. Bryant admitted to an adulterous sexual encounter with his accuser but denied her sexual assault allegation.
The accusation tarnished Bryant’s reputation, and the public’s perception of him plummeted; his endorsement contracts with McDonald’s and Nutella were terminated. Sales for Bryant’s replica jersey fell significantly. However, in September 2004, the assault case was dropped by prosecutors after the accuser decided not to testify at the trial. Afterward, Bryant agreed to apologize to her for the incident, including his public mea culpa:
“Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did. After months of reviewing discovery, listening to her attorney, and even her testimony in person, I now understand how she feels that she did not consent to this encounter.”
The accuser filed a separate civil lawsuit against Bryant, which the two sides settled privately. Bryant later admitted to cheating on his wife, Vanessa Bryant.