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Kobe Bryant is a surprise star at Teen Choice Awards. He's named top male athlete, alongside winners Kutcher, Farrell, and Carrey

Kobe Bryant | PRO CHOICE Bryant accepts his giant surfboard for favorite male athlete
Image credit: Kobe Bryant: Robert Galbraith/Reuters/NewsCom
PRO CHOICE Bryant accepts his giant surfboard for favorite male athlete

He may be charged with sexually assaulting a teen, but that didn't stop the voters of the Teen Choice Awards from naming Kobe Bryant their favorite male athlete. The Los Angeles Lakers star made a rare public appearance, alongside wife Vanessa, at Saturday's taping of the awards ceremony at Hollywood's Universal Amphitheatre. The show airs on Fox on Wednesday, the same day Bryant is due in court for a preliminary hearing on his felony sexual assault charge.

It's the fourth time Bryant has won the award, earning the 12.5 million votes in the AOL poll that decided the winner. He was presented the Teen Choice trophy, a full-size surfboard, by former Laker Girl Paula Abdul.

Besides Bryant's case -- he's accused of raping a 19-year-old employee at a Colorado hotel on June 30, but he says they had consensual sex -- there was plenty of backstage gossip, according to USA Today. Jessica Alba confirmed that she's broken up with her fiancé, her former ''Dark Angel'' costar Michael Weatherly, though she did not offer any details. ''Lizzie McGuire'' star Hilary Duff (winner of the Female Breakout Movie Star award) also said she was single, having split with beau Aaron Carter after learning that he was also dating ''Freaky Friday'' star Linday Lohan. ''There was some mess that went on, but Aaron and I are cool; Lindsay and I are cool -- everything's all good,'' Duff told the paper.

Other winners included Favorite Comedian Jim Carrey (who came wrapped in bandages like a mummy, joking that he'd undergone plastic surgery to keep himself looking like a teen), Favorite Villain Colin Farrell (for ''Daredevil''), and Favorite Variety/Reality Host Ashton Kutcher (''Punk'd''), whose date was Scout Willis, daughter of his girlfriend Demi Moore. She told USA Today she thought it was ''totally awesome'' that Kutcher mentioned her in his acceptance speech. Also present was Kutcher's ex-girlfriend and ''Just Married'' costar, Brittany Murphy, who clapped enthusiastically when Kutcher won.

Originally posted Aug 04, 2003