Fact Check: Kobe Bryant Was NOT Suing Company Behind 'Black Mamba Hyperrush' Over Supposed Opioid Contamination

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: Kobe Bryant Was NOT Suing Company Behind 'Black Mamba Hyperrush' Over Supposed Opioid Contamination Trademark Only

Was basketball superstar Kobe Bryant suing the company behind Black Mamba Hyperrush over their energy supplements' supposed opioid contamination? No, that's not true: Bryant was suing a company in a trademark dispute for using the name Black Mamba Hyperrush; the lawsuit never mentions opioids. According to court records, the suit was settled on January 2, 2020, weeks before his death on January 26, 2020.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) where it was published on Instagram on April 27, 2023 under the title "Was KOBE a sacrifice!?" A person in the video says:

Have you heard the conspiracy theory that Big Pharma took out Kobe Bryant? So, he was in a legal battle with a company that was using the Black Mamba name to sell these energy supplements. Apparently, not only was he suing them because they were using the Black Mamba name but also because they were lacing these energy supplements with opioids.

This is what the post looked like on Instagram at the time of writing:

image - 2023-05-04T105409.233.png

(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Thurs May 5 17:29:34 2023 UTC)

The caption on the video reads:

The 2020 Death of Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles, California was possibly a setup to stop him from testifying... #kobebryant #creepy #scary #podcast #weird #kobe #losangeles #creepypasta #conspiracy

Bryant sued Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in March 2017 for its trademark registration of the name Black Mamba Hyperrush. In court documents, Bryant opposed the June 2015 "registration of the Applicant's Designation," meaning he did not want the company to be allowed to use the name Black Mamba because "All goods and services in the class are opposed, namely: Dietary and nutritional supplements." There is no mention of opioids in the lawsuit. Page six in the documents explained that allowing to call the company "Black Mamba Hyperrush" would "falsely suggest a connection with Kobe":

On September 13, 2016, Kobe filed a Letter of Protest against Applicant's Designation, Application Serial No. 86/673,256, arguing that the registration of Applicant's Designation would falsely suggest a connection with Kobe pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a) and that Applicant's Designation consists of the name and likeness of Kobe, a living individual who has not provided written consent to the Applicant's Designation pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1052(c)

The Lakers star created "The Black Mamba" as an alter ego to deal with his struggles on and off the court in 2003 and 2004, he said in his auto-documentary "Muse":

Bryant's case in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office was terminated on January 2, 2020, as court documents show.

The basketball great was killed along with his daughter, Gigi, 13, and seven other people in a helicopter crash on January 26, 2020, in Calabasas, California.

Lead Stories previously debunked the claim that Kobe Bryant was assassinated by the NBA and Big Pharma.

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:

  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

About Us

International Fact-Checking Organization Meta Third-Party Fact Checker

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Lead Stories LLC:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion