Evan Rachel Wood criticised over Twitter message about Kobe Bryant

Evan Rachel Wood

Evan Rachel Wood has sparked backlash online after she took aim at basketball player Kobe Bryant in a Twitter message following his shock death on Sunday.

The Los Angeles Lakers legend was just 41 when he was killed in a helicopter crash in California on Sunday, alongside eight other passengers, including his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.

While tributes poured in from stars worldwide, Westworld actress Wood attracted criticism on Monday for unearthing sexual assault accusations made against him almost 17 years ago by a 19-year-old Colorado hotel employee.

"He was a sports hero. He was also a rapist," the 32-year-old tweeted. "And all of these truths can exist simultaneously."

Bryant was never prosecuted over the allegations and, taking to the comments of the post, fans of the sportsman were quick to condemn Wood over the "attention-seeking" post.

"And this is where the #MeToo movement has gotten out of control... attacking a man who literally just died less than 24 hours ago, with his little girl!" one follower wrote, while a second added, "These things need to be taken seriously and your (sic) just looking for attention after him and his daughter JUST died. Wow."

Another user called the star a "narcissistic disappointment".

Wood tried to calm the criticism later on Monday, asking for "kindness and respect to all".

"Beloveds, this was not a condemnation or a celebration. It was a reminder that everyone will have different feelings and there is room for us all to grieve together instead of fighting," she wrote, adding that "everyone has lost".

However, the tweet only prompted further outrage, with one fan snapping back, "You don't get to cover that bulls**t you did with third rate greeting card platitudes."

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